B-171933, MAR 19, 1971

B-171933: Mar 19, 1971

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SUBSISTENCE WILL BE CONTINUED (FOR A PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED 14 CALENDAR DAYS): SINCE THE HOSPITAL BILL AMOUNTED TO $65 PER DAY MORE THAN $40 OF WHICH CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO ROOM AND BOARD ACCORDING TO HOSPITAL AUTHORITIES. HARRISON'S CLAIM FOR $586 MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT IT CANNOT BE DETERMINED WHAT PORTION OF THE $65 A DAY ROOM CHARGE FOR THE PERIOD OF HIS STAY AT ARLINGTON HOSPITAL WAS ALLOCABLE SOLELY TO ROOM AND BOARD. WAS AUTHORIZED ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES NOT TO EXCEED $40 PER DAY INCIDENT TO HIS TRAVEL BETWEEN HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION OF SAN JUAN. WAS TAKEN TO ARLINGTON HOSPITAL WHERE HE REMAINED UNTIL HE WAS ABLE TO TRAVEL ON NOVEMBER 14. HIS MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL EXPENSES WERE PAID TO THE EXTENT ALLOWABLE BY THE BLUE SHIELD ASSOCIATION UNDER THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES HEALTH BENEFITS PROGRAM.

B-171933, MAR 19, 1971

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - SUBSISTENCE - ILLNESS OR INJURY CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT CLAIM OF CHARLES R. HARRISON FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO HIS TRAVEL BETWEEN HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION OF SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, AND WASHINGTON, D. C. TO ATTEND A CONFERENCE INCLUDING THE PERIOD OF HIS HOSPITALIZATION IN ARLINGTON HOSPITAL FOR A PERIOD OF ILLNESS WHICH COMMENCED DURING THE CONFERENCE. BOB CIRCULAR NO. A-7, SECTIONS 6.5A AND 6.5D (5) PROVIDE THAT WHENEVER A TRAVELER TAKES LEAVE OF ABSENCE DUE TO ILLNESS, SUBSISTENCE WILL BE CONTINUED (FOR A PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED 14 CALENDAR DAYS): SINCE THE HOSPITAL BILL AMOUNTED TO $65 PER DAY MORE THAN $40 OF WHICH CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO ROOM AND BOARD ACCORDING TO HOSPITAL AUTHORITIES, PAYMENT MAY BE MADE ON THE BASIS OF MAXIMUM SUBSISTENCE AUTHORIZED ($40 PER DAY).

TO MR. R. J. SCHULLERY:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 16, 1971, ASKING WHETHER MR. CHARLES R. HARRISON'S CLAIM FOR $586 MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT IT CANNOT BE DETERMINED WHAT PORTION OF THE $65 A DAY ROOM CHARGE FOR THE PERIOD OF HIS STAY AT ARLINGTON HOSPITAL WAS ALLOCABLE SOLELY TO ROOM AND BOARD.

MR. HARRISON, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, WAS AUTHORIZED ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES NOT TO EXCEED $40 PER DAY INCIDENT TO HIS TRAVEL BETWEEN HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION OF SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, AND WASHINGTON, D. C., TO ATTEND A CONFERENCE. HE BECAME ILL DURING THE CONFERENCE AND ON OCTOBER 30, 1970, WAS TAKEN TO ARLINGTON HOSPITAL WHERE HE REMAINED UNTIL HE WAS ABLE TO TRAVEL ON NOVEMBER 14, 1970. HIS MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL EXPENSES WERE PAID TO THE EXTENT ALLOWABLE BY THE BLUE SHIELD ASSOCIATION UNDER THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES HEALTH BENEFITS PROGRAM.

OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-7 (STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS) PROVIDES AT SECTION 6.5A:

"ILLNESS OR INJURY. A. WHENEVER A TRAVELER TAKES LEAVE OF ABSENCE OF ANY KIND BECAUSE OF BEING INCAPACITATED DUE TO HIS ILLNESS OR INJURY, NOT DUE TO HIS OWN MISCONDUCT, THE PRESCRIBED PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, IF ANY, WILL BE CONTINUED FOR PERIODS NOT TO EXCEED 14 CALENDAR DAYS (INCLUDING FRACTIONAL DAYS) IN ANY ONE PERIOD OF ABSENCE UNLESS, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN A PARTICULAR CASE, A LONGER PERIOD IS APPROVED.

"IF, WHILE IN TRAVEL STATUS, THE TRAVELER RECEIVES HOSPITALIZATION (OR IS REIMBURSED FOR HOSPITAL EXPENSES) UNDER ANY FEDERAL STATUTE, OTHER THAN THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES HEALTH BENEFITS ACT OF 1959 (5 U.S.C. 3001-3014), THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WILL NOT BE PAID FOR THE PERIOD INVOLVED OR, IF PAID, WILL BE COLLECTED FROM THE TRAVELER." SECTION 6.12D(5) OF THE CIRCULAR EXTENDS THE ABOVE SECTION TO AN ALLOWANCE OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES.

YOUR INQUIRY IS BASED ON THE FACT THAT THE ROOM CHARGE WHICH APPEARS ON MR. HARRISON'S BILL OF $65 A DAY COVERS EXPENSES OF ROOM, BOARD AND NURSING SERVICES. SINCE THE HOSPITAL IS UNABLE TO PROVIDE A BREAKDOWN OF COSTS TO INDICATE THE PORTION OF THAT AMOUNT ALLOCABLE SOLELY TO ROOM AND BOARD, YOU WISH TO BE ADVISED AS TO THE DAILY RATE OF REIMBURSEMENT TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED.

WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED THROUGH INFORMAL CONVERSATIONS WITH THE HOSPITAL THAT, ALTHOUGH THEIR RECORDS DO NOT REFLECT WHAT AMOUNTS ARE ALLOCABLE TO EACH OF THE THREE CATEGORIES, THE MAJOR PORTION OF THE $65 CHARGE IS FOR ROOM AND BOARD. IN VIEW OF THIS INFORMATION WE DO NOT THINK IT UNREASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT MR. HARRISON'S EXPENSES FOR ROOM AND BOARD FOR THE PERIOD INVOLVED WERE AT LEAST $40 A DAY. THEREFORE, HIS TRAVEL VOUCHER, WITH ATTACHMENTS, IS RETURNED HEREWITH FOR HANDLING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.