B-175577, JUL 7, 1972

B-175577: Jul 7, 1972

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(NO 2 LINE MATERIAL) (NO 3 LINE MATERIAL) TO STAFF SERGEANT COURTNEY COLLIER: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER REQUESTING FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR DECEASED DAUGHTER. DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR THE REASON THAT THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LAW OR REGULATIONS WHICH AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT TO A RETIRED MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTING A DECEASED DEPENDENT. WHO WAS SUFFERING FROM LEUKEMIA. WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE HOSPITAL TO LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE HOSPITAL VIA MILITARY AIRCRAFT. UPON ARRIVAL AT LACKLAND AND BEING TOLD THAT YOU WERE GOING TO LOSE HER. YOU REQUESTED THAT YOU BE PERMITTED TO RETURN HER TO YOUR HOME BY MILITARY AIRCRAFT BEFORE SHE DIED AND THAT YOUR REQUEST WAS DENIED.

B-175577, JUL 7, 1972

(NO 2 LINE MATERIAL) (NO 3 LINE MATERIAL)

TO STAFF SERGEANT COURTNEY COLLIER:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER REQUESTING FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR DECEASED DAUGHTER, SHARON DIANE COLLIER, FROM LACKLAND AFB, TEXAS, TO YOUR HOME OF RECORD, ALTUS, OKLAHOMA.

GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED JANUARY 11, 1972, DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR THE REASON THAT THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LAW OR REGULATIONS WHICH AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT TO A RETIRED MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTING A DECEASED DEPENDENT.

YOU SAY THAT YOUR DAUGHTER, WHO WAS SUFFERING FROM LEUKEMIA, WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE HOSPITAL TO LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE HOSPITAL VIA MILITARY AIRCRAFT. UPON ARRIVAL AT LACKLAND AND BEING TOLD THAT YOU WERE GOING TO LOSE HER, YOU REQUESTED THAT YOU BE PERMITTED TO RETURN HER TO YOUR HOME BY MILITARY AIRCRAFT BEFORE SHE DIED AND THAT YOUR REQUEST WAS DENIED. YOU SAY THAT SHORTLY THEREAFTER YOUR DAUGHTER PASSED AWAY AND YOU WERE REQUIRED TO TRANSPORT HER BODY FROM LACKLAND TO ALTUS BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT FOR BURIAL. YOU CONTEND THAT SINCE SHE WAS MOVED TO LACKLAND AFB WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION, PARAGRAPH 5D OF AIR FORCE REGULATION 76-15 AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT FOR THESE COSTS.

AIR FORCE REGULATION 76-15 RELATES TO THE MOVEMENT OF TRAFFIC FOR AIRLIFT SERVICES UNDER THE AUSPICES OF MAC WHICH IS TO BE AUTHORIZED OR SPONSORED BY THE SECRETARIES OF THE SERVICES CONCERNED. PARAGRAPH 2O DEFINES THE TERM "U.S. ARMED FORCES PATIENT" AS ONE WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO USE THESE SERVICES WHEN CLASSIFIED AS A MEDICAL PATIENT BY COMPETENT MEDICAL AUTHORITY AND FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS REGULATION INCLUDES IN SUCH CLASS,

"(2) A DEPENDENT OF A MEMBER OF A MILITARY SERVICE ON ACTIVE DUTY OR A MEMBER DECEASED WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY, OR DEPENDENTS OF RETIRED OR DECEASED RETIRED MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY SERVICES WHO ARE AUTHORIZED MEDICAL CARE

PARAGRAPH 2I DEFINES THE TERM "PATIENT" AS,

"ANY PERSON WHOSE MEDICAL NEEDS HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED BY COMPETENT MEDICAL AUTHORITY FOR WHOM TREATMENT IS UNAVAILABLE LOCALLY AND WHO REQUIRES TRANSPORTATION TO OBTAIN ADEQUATE MEDICAL CARE."

PARAGRAPH 5 OF THAT REGULATION FURTHER LISTS THE CLASSES OF PASSENGERS AND CARGO WHICH MAY BE MOVED VIA MAC AIRCRAFT. SUBPARAGRAPH D PROVIDES FOR THE MOVEMENT OF PATIENTS WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR AERO MEDICAL TRANSPORTATION WHEN APPROVED BY COMPETENT MEDICAL AUTHORITY.

IT WOULD APPEAR THAT IT WAS UNDER THE ABOVE-CITED PROVISIONS OF AFR 76-15 THAT YOUR DAUGHTER WAS MOVED FROM ALTUS AFB, OKLAHOMA, TO LACKLAND AFB, TEXAS; HOWEVER, THERE IS NOTHING CONTAINED IN THOSE PROVISIONS WHICH AUTHORIZE THE MOVEMENT OF THE REMAINS OF A DECEASED DEPENDENT OF A RETIRED MEMBER OF AN ARMED FORCE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED OR PROVIDE FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH AN EXPENSE. WHILE YOUR DAUGHTER MAY HAVE QUALIFIED AS A PATIENT ON THE TRIP TO LACKLAND AFB, SHE WAS NOT IN A PATIENT STATUS AFTER SHE DIED AND THUS, AIR FORCE REGULATION 76-15 IS NOT FOR APPLICATION IN YOUR CASE.

PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO TRANSPORTATION OF THE REMAINS OF DECEASED DEPENDENTS IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES ARE CONTAINED IN AIR FORCE MANUAL 143- 1, ENTITLED "MORTUARY AFFAIRS."

PARAGRAPH 10-1 OF CHAPTER 10 OF AIR FORCE MANUAL 143-1 PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

"A. AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS AUTHORIZED FOR SHIPMENT OF THE REMAINS OF THE FOLLOWING DECEASED PERSONNEL FROM THE PLACE OF DEATH TO THE DESTINATION SPECIFIED BELOW:

"(4) DEPENDENTS CITED IN PARAGRAPH 2-2D TO THE PLACE SELECTED BY THE NEXT OF KIN."

PARAGRAPH 2-2D LIMITS THE ELIGIBILITY FOR THE ABOVE-CITED TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE TO:

"(1) DEPENDENTS OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES WHO DIE WHILE THE MEMBER IS ON ACTIVE DUTY (OTHER THAN FOR TRAINING).

"(2) DEPENDENTS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE ARMED FORCES *** WHO DIE WHILE RESIDING WITH SUCH EMPLOYEE OUTSIDE CONUS OR WHILE TRAVELING TO OR FROM SUCH PLACE OF DUTY."

NOWHERE IN THIS REGULATION IS THERE ANY PROVISION FOR TRANSPORTING OR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTING THE REMAINS OF A DECEASED DEPENDENT OF A RETIRED MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES WHO DIED IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. WE ARE UNAWARE OF ANY OTHER REGULATION WHEREBY A RETIRED MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES IN A SITUATION DESCRIBED BY YOU WOULD BE AUTHORIZED SUCH TRANSPORTATION OR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST THEREOF.

ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IS SUSTAINED.