B-28242, JANUARY 20, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 676

B-28242: Jan 20, 1943

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

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

HAS BEEN DISAPPROVED BECAUSE THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED DID NOT CLEARLY ESTABLISH THAT SHE WAS DEPENDENT UPON HIM FOR SUPPORT. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON A VOUCHER SUBMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF BERNARD B. THAT HIS DEATH WAS IN LINE OF DUTY AND WAS NOT THE RESULT OF HIS OWN MISCONDUCT. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE ADVISED IN DECISION OF AUGUST 27. THAT AS IT WAS NOT ESTABLISHED BY THE EVIDENCE THEN SUBMITTED THAT THE AUNT (FIRST DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY) WAS A "DEPENDENT RELATIVE. " YOU WERE NOT AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER PRESENTED. AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO SIX MONTHS' PAY AT THE RATE THE SOLDIER WAS RECEIVING AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH. THE PROVISIONS OF SAID ACT WERE EXTENDED TO THE OTHER FORCES OF THE ARMY BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 10.

B-28242, JANUARY 20, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 676

SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY PAY - CLAIM BY THE SECOND OF TWO DESIGNATED BENEFICIARIES WHERE A DECEASED SOLDIER HAD DESIGNATED TWO BENEFICIARIES TO RECEIVE THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY PAYMENT PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 17, 1919, AS AMENDED, AND THE CLAIM OF THE FIRST DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY, AUNT OF THE DECEASED SOLDIER, HAS BEEN DISAPPROVED BECAUSE THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED DID NOT CLEARLY ESTABLISH THAT SHE WAS DEPENDENT UPON HIM FOR SUPPORT, OR OTHERWISE HAD AN INSURABLE INTEREST IN HIM, THE CLAIM OF THE SECOND DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY, BROTHER OF THE DECEASED SOLDIER, MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED UNLESS THE FIRST BENEFICIARY--- WHO MAY DESIRE TO SUBMIT ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE TENDING TO SHOW DEPENDENCY--- HAS RELINQUISHED HER RIGHT TO CLAIM THE GRATUITY PAYMENT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO LT. COL. CARL WITCHER, U.S. ARMY JANUARY 20, 1943:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY ENDORSEMENT OF DECEMBER 28, YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 26, 1942, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON A VOUCHER SUBMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF BERNARD B. BARTICK, BROTHER AND DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY OF EDWARD C. BARTICK, NO. 31,035,872, DECEASED, LATE CORPORAL, COMPANY H, 2ND BATTALION, 166TH INFANTRY, U.S. ARMY, FOR $396, REPRESENTED AS EQUAL TO THE PAY OF THE DECEASED FOR SIX MONTHS--- THE CLAIM ARISING UNDER THE ACT OF DECEMBER 17, 1919, 41 STAT. 367, AS AMENDED.

THE W.D., A.G.O. FORM NO. 52 ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT CORPORAL BARTICK DIED JUNE 9, 1942, IN THE STATION HOSPITAL AT FORT CROCKETT, TEXAS; THAT HIS DEATH WAS IN LINE OF DUTY AND WAS NOT THE RESULT OF HIS OWN MISCONDUCT; THAT HE HAD DESIGNATED AS HIS BENEFICIARIES FIRST, ELIZABETH MORAN, AUNT, AND SECOND, BERNARD BARTICK, BROTHER. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE ADVISED IN DECISION OF AUGUST 27, 1942, B-28242, THAT AS IT WAS NOT ESTABLISHED BY THE EVIDENCE THEN SUBMITTED THAT THE AUNT (FIRST DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY) WAS A "DEPENDENT RELATIVE," YOU WERE NOT AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER PRESENTED.

THE ACT OF DECEMBER 17, 1919, SUPRA, PROVIDES THAT WHEN AN ENLISTED MAN ON THE ACTIVE LIST OF THE REGULAR ARMY DIES FROM WOUNDS OR DISEASE, NOT THE RESULT OF HIS OWN MISCONDUCT, THERE SHALL BE PAID TO THE WIDOW, AND IF THERE BE NO WIDOW, THEN TO THE CHILD OR CHILDREN, AND IF THERE BE NO WIDOW OR CHILD, THEN TO "ANY OTHER DEPENDENT RELATIVE" PREVIOUSLY DESIGNATED BY HIM, AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO SIX MONTHS' PAY AT THE RATE THE SOLDIER WAS RECEIVING AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH. THE PROVISIONS OF SAID ACT WERE EXTENDED TO THE OTHER FORCES OF THE ARMY BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 10, 1941, 55 STAT. 796, RETROACTIVE TO AUGUST 27, 1940.

WHERE IT IS CONCLUSIVELY ESTABLISHED THAT THE FIRST DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY IS NOT ENTITLED TO THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY PAYMENT PROVIDED BY THE STATUTE, EITHER BY SAID BENEFICIARY'S OWN ADMISSION OR OTHERWISE, SUCH FACT DOES NOT NECESSARILY DEFEAT THE RIGHT OF THE SECOND BENEFICIARY TO RECEIVE THE PAYMENT. THE DECISION OF AUGUST 27, 1942, IN THIS CASE, CONSIDERED THE QUESTION OF THE RIGHT OF THE FIRST DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY, AUNT OF THE DECEASED SOLDIER, TO TAKE THE GRATUITY PAYMENT ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS PRESENTED WITH THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED, AND SINCE THE FACTS SUBMITTED DID NOT CLEARLY ESTABLISH THAT SHE WAS DEPENDENT ON HIM FOR SUPPORT, OR OTHERWISE HAD AN INSURABLE INTEREST IN HIM, IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED WAS NOT AUTHORIZED. HOWEVER, AS IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE FIRST DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY HAS RELINQUISHED HER RIGHT TO CLAIM THE GRATUITY PAYMENT, HER CLAIM WOULD BE OPEN TO FURTHER CONSIDERATION UPON SUBMISSION OF ADDITIONAL FACTS TENDING TO SHOW THAT SHE WAS A DEPENDENT RELATIVE OF THE DECEASED SOLDIER WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE STATUTE. ACCORDINGLY, ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD, PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER NOW SUBMITTED IN FAVOR OF THE SECOND BENEFICIARY IS NOT AUTHORIZED. HOWEVER, THE FIRST NAMED BENEFICIARY WHO IS A RELATIVE, MAY, IF SHE SO DESIRES, SUBMIT ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE TENDING TO SHOW THAT SHE IS DEPENDENT--- EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS NOT IN FACT DEPENDENT ON THE DECEASED SOLDIER--- AND UPON RECEIPT OF SUCH EVIDENCE FURTHER CONSIDERATION WILL BE GIVEN TO THE QUESTION OF HER RIGHT IN THE MATTER; OR, IF SHE IS NOT DEPENDENT ON ANYONE AND THERE BE SUBMITTED A STATEMENT BY HER TO THE EFFECT THAT SHE RELINQUISHES ANY CLAIM SHE MAY HAVE HAD TO THE GRATUITY PAYMENT, FURTHER CONSIDERATION THEN WILL BE GIVEN TO THE QUESTION OF THE RIGHT OF THE SECOND BENEFICIARY TO SUCH PAYMENT.