B-175011, MAR 30, 1972

B-175011: Mar 30, 1972

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THERE IS NO BASIS FOR MONETARY REIMBURSEMENT WHEN MILITARY AIRCRAFT IS NOT USED. NEWMAN: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS DATED DECEMBER 30. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DATED DECEMBER 28. WAS SENT TO YOU AT YOUR NEW YORK ADDRESS INFORMING YOU THAT YOUR SON. WAS SERIOUSLY ILL IN JAPAN AND THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN HAD STATED THAT YOUR PRESENCE WAS NECESSARY TO THE RECOVERY OF YOUR SON. WAS ALSO STATED IN THAT TELEGRAM THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE WOULD FURNISH GOVERNMENT-PROCURED TRANSPORTATION FOR ONE MEMBER OF THE FAMILY FROM TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE. WAS ALSO STATED THAT THE TRAVELER MUST PAY THE COST OF TRAVEL FROM HIS HOME TO TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE AND RETURN PLUS COST OF FOOD AND LODGING WHILE IN TRANSIT AND AT THE DESTINATION.

B-175011, MAR 30, 1972

MILITARY PERSONNEL - REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES - GOVERNMENT PROCURED TRANSPORTATION DECISION AFFIRMING PRIOR DISALLOWANCE OF A CLAIM OF JOAN S. NEWMAN FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL MADE IN CONNECTION WITH THE PHYSICAL CONDITION OF HER SON, SGT. JOSEPH H. MINSKOFF. ALTHOUGH THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 5A(9) OF AIR FORCE REGULATION 76 15 AUTHORIZE TRANSPORTATION UPON A DETERMINATION BY THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN THAT THE MEMBER'S CONDITION REQUIRES THE PRESENCE OF NEXT OF KIN, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR MONETARY REIMBURSEMENT WHEN MILITARY AIRCRAFT IS NOT USED. ACCORDINGLY, THE PRIOR DISALLOWANCE OF THE CLAIM MUST BE SUSTAINED.

TO MRS. JOAN S. NEWMAN:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS DATED DECEMBER 30, 1971, AND FEBRUARY 15, 1972, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF PLANE FARE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOU FROM NEW YORK TO TOKYO AND RETURN. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DATED DECEMBER 28, 1971.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT A TELEGRAM DATED APRIL 1, 1971, WAS SENT TO YOU AT YOUR NEW YORK ADDRESS INFORMING YOU THAT YOUR SON, SERGEANT JOSEPH H. MINSKOFF, WAS SERIOUSLY ILL IN JAPAN AND THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN HAD STATED THAT YOUR PRESENCE WAS NECESSARY TO THE RECOVERY OF YOUR SON. WAS ALSO STATED IN THAT TELEGRAM THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE WOULD FURNISH GOVERNMENT-PROCURED TRANSPORTATION FOR ONE MEMBER OF THE FAMILY FROM TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA, TO JAPAN AND RETURN. WAS ALSO STATED THAT THE TRAVELER MUST PAY THE COST OF TRAVEL FROM HIS HOME TO TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE AND RETURN PLUS COST OF FOOD AND LODGING WHILE IN TRANSIT AND AT THE DESTINATION.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION SINCE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 5A(9) OF AIR FORCE REGULATION 76-15, TRANSPORTATION IN KIND WAS AUTHORIZED FOR THE NEXT OF KIN AND ONE OTHER MEMBER OF THE FAMILY OF A VERY SERIOUSLY ILL OR INJURED MEMBER OF A MILITARY SERVICE HOSPITALIZED OVERSEAS WHEN A DETERMINATION IS MADE BY THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN THAT THE PRESENCE OF THE NEXT OF KIN IS NECESSARY TO THE RECOVERY OF THE PATIENT. HOWEVER, SINCE THAT REGULATION PROVIDES FOR TRANSPORTATION IN KIND ONLY, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR MONETARY REIMBURSEMENT WHEN MILITARY AIRCRAFT IS NOT USED.

YOU SAY IN YOUR LETTER THAT YOUR SON CALLED YOU FROM JAPAN ON MARCH 31, 1971, TO TELL YOU HE WAS TO BE OPERATED ON THE NEXT DAY. AT THAT TIME YOU SPOKE TO THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN AND WERE INFORMED THAT YOUR SON'S CONDITION WAS GRAVE. YOU ALSO SAY THAT YOU WERE NOT INFORMED AT THAT TIME THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE. YOU SAY THAT YOU LEFT FOR JAPAN ON APRIL 1, 1971, PRIOR TO THE ARRIVAL OF THE TELEGRAM INFORMING YOU OF THE AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION.

CHAPTER 7 OF VOLUME I, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE PERTINENT STATUTE, 37 U.S.C. 406, PROVIDES, GENERALLY, THAT MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IN ELIGIBLE GRADES ARE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UPON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM THE OLD STATION TO THE NEW STATION, OR BETWEEN POINTS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING A BONA FIDE RESIDENCE.

WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY PROVISION OF LAW OR ANY REGULATIONS WHICH AUTHORIZE THE REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION INCURRED BY THE NEXT OF KIN OR MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY OF A MEMBER OF THE MILITARY SERVICES WHO IS SERIOUSLY ILL, IN ORDER TO VISIT THAT MEMBER.

AS INDICATED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, AIR FORCE REGULATION 75-16 5A(9) PROVIDES THAT WHEN A DETERMINATION IS MADE BY THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN OF A VERY SERIOUSLY ILL OR INJURED HOSPITALIZED MEMBER OF A MILITARY SERVICE THAT THE PRESENCE OF THE NEXT OF KIN IS NECESSARY TO THE RECOVERY OF THE PATIENT, TRANSPORTATION BY A MILITARY AIRLIFT COMMAND AIRCRAFT MAY BE AUTHORIZED FROM THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AERIAL PORT OF EMBARKATION TO THE OVERSEAS AERIAL PORT OF DEBARKATION AND RETURN.

WHILE THIS REGULATION AUTHORIZES TRANSPORTATION ON A MILITARY AIRCRAFT FROM A POINT WITHIN THE UNITED STATES TO A POINT OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND RETURN, IT DOES NOT PURPORT TO AUTHORIZE THE REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES FOR TRANSPORTATION SECURED WITH A COMMERCIAL CARRIER WHEN THE TRANSPORTATION VIA MILITARY AIRCRAFT IS NOT USED, EVEN THOUGH AN INDIVIDUAL WHO MAY BE AUTHORIZED SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS NOT INFORMED OF ITS AVAILABILITY. THE REGULATION SIMPLY AUTHORIZES SPACE ON A MILITARY AIRCRAFT WHICH HAS FOR A DESTINATION A POINT IN THE REASONABLY PROXIMITY OF THE POINT WHERE THE MEMBER IS HOSPITALIZED.

WHILE IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT YOU HAD DEPARTED FOR TOKYO PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF THE TELEGRAM WHICH WOULD HAVE NOTIFIED YOU OF AVAILABLE TRANSPORTATION FROM TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE TO TOKYO ON MILITARY AIRCRAFT, WE MUST SUSTAIN THE ACTION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM, SINCE THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF YOUR TRANSPORTATION BY COMMERCIAL CARRIER.