Claim by Military Member for Disability Continuation Pay and Allowances

B-195470: Nov 14, 1979

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

An advance decision was requested concerning payment to an Air Force Reserve member of disability continuation pay and allowances for a year as a result of an injury she sustained while on annual training duty. The claimant was injured in the line of duty when she strained her back while performing duty as a cook. Over the next few months, she received treatment in various military and civilian medical facilities. She was excused from participation in training assemblies for nearly a year on the basis of her civilian physician's verification that she should not participate. She failed to appear at an Air Force facility for a physical examination as required, claiming she was too ill to travel. When she did receive the physical, it was determined that she could return to duty. She claimed disability continuation pay and allowances for the entire period. It has been held that a military member who is disabled in the line of duty is entitled to continued pay and allowances during the period of his incapacitation. The service concerned should determine when the member has recovered. The member may not postpone the service examination in order to extend the period of entitlement to these benefits. In this case, there is sufficient evidence to support a determination that the member remained disabled and could not appear for the physical for the first 4 months following her injury. However, there is not sufficient information on record to support the status of her disability for the remainder of the period in question. Accordingly, payment of active duty pay and allowances is authorized for the first period of time but not for the remainder of the year.