B-53347, DECEMBER 3, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 433

B-53347: Dec 3, 1945

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IS FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY IN THE VICINITY OF HIS HOME AND IS THERE DISCHARGED IS NOT ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UNDER SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT. WHEN SUCH FACILITY IS NOT IN THE VICINITY OF HIS HOME. TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE FOR THE DISTANCE FROM THE FACILITY TO HIS HOME OR TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH HE ENTERED THE SERVICE AS DESIGNATED IN SAID ACT. WHICHEVER IS SHORTER. 25 COMP. AS FOLLOWS: THERE HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION THE FACT THAT UNDER THE ARMY REGULATIONS NOW IN EFFECT PREDICATED ON DECISIONS RENDERED BY YOUR OFFICE AN ENLISTED MAN DISCHARGED FOR PERMANENT DISABILITY SENT IN CARE OF AN ATTENDANT AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES TO A HOSPITAL AT WHICH HE IS DISCHARGED IS ENTITLED TO SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION ONLY.

B-53347, DECEMBER 3, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 433

TRAVEL ALLOWANCE - DISABILITY DISCHARGES - EFFECT OF FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE TO VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY AN ARMY ENLISTED MAN WHO, AFTER BEING RECOMMENDED FOR DISCHARGE BY A BOARD OF MEDICAL OFFICERS BECAUSE OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY, IS FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY IN THE VICINITY OF HIS HOME AND IS THERE DISCHARGED IS NOT ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UNDER SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, TO PLACE OF ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT; AND WHEN SUCH FACILITY IS NOT IN THE VICINITY OF HIS HOME, TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE FOR THE DISTANCE FROM THE FACILITY TO HIS HOME OR TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH HE ENTERED THE SERVICE AS DESIGNATED IN SAID ACT, WHICHEVER IS SHORTER. 25 COMP. GEN. 95, AMPLIFIED.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, DECEMBER 3, 1945:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 12, 1945, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION THE FACT THAT UNDER THE ARMY REGULATIONS NOW IN EFFECT PREDICATED ON DECISIONS RENDERED BY YOUR OFFICE AN ENLISTED MAN DISCHARGED FOR PERMANENT DISABILITY SENT IN CARE OF AN ATTENDANT AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES TO A HOSPITAL AT WHICH HE IS DISCHARGED IS ENTITLED TO SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION ONLY.

THE DECISIONS CITED ABOVE ARE A-11119, DATED 29 SEPTEMBER 1925, AND A- 11779, DATED 6 (16) NOVEMBER 1925.

SECTION 126 OF THE ACT OF 3 JUNE 1916 (35 STAT. 217), AS AMENDED BY SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF 28 FEBRUARY 1919 (40 STAT. 1203), ACT OF 22 SEPTEMBER 1922 (42 STAT. 1021), AND THE ACT OF 14 DECEMBER 1942 (56 STAT. 1049), PROVIDES THAT AN ENLISTED MAN DISCHARGED FROM THE ARMY, EXCEPT BY WAY OF PUNISHMENT FOR AN OFFENSE, SHALL RECEIVE 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE DISTANCE FROM THE PLACE OF HIS DISCHARGE TO THE PLACE OF HIS ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT, ENROLLMENT, MUSTER INTO THE SERVICE, LOCATION OF LOCAL BOARD WHERE HE FIRST REPORTED FOR DELIVERY TO THE INDUCTION STATION IN THE CASE OF A SELECTEE, THE HOME STATION OF THE NATIONAL GUARD UNIT IN THE CASE OF A NATIONAL GUARD ENLISTED MAN, OR THE PLACE WHERE HE WAS SELECTED FOR ENROLLMENT IN THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS IN THE CASE OF A CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS ENROLLEE SO INDUCTED.

IT IS THE POLICY OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT, PRIOR TO EFFECTING THE DISCHARGE OF AN ENLISTED PERSON PERMANENTLY DISABLED IN THE MILITARY SERVICE, NOT THE RESULT OF HIS OWN MISCONDUCT, TO TRANSPORT SUCH ENLISTED PERSON FOR FURTHER MEDICAL CARE TO THE VETERANS' FACILITY (HOSPITAL) LOCATED IN THE VICINITY OF HIS HOME, IF POSSIBLE, OR TO THE VETERANS' FACILITY BEST EQUIPPED TO FURNISH MEDICAL CARE, SUCH TRANSPORTATION TOGETHER WITH NECESSARY MEDICAL CARE AND SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE BEING FURNISHED BY THE ARMY.

IN YOUR DECISION B-49861, DATED 25 JULY 1945, RENDERED TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, IT IS HELD THAT "IF AN ENLISTED MAN'S HOME IS 150 MILES FROM THE NAVAL HOSPITAL WHERE HE IS RECOMMENDED FOR DISCHARGE AND HE ELECTS TO RECEIVE TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE FROM THE NAVAL HOSPITAL TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, SUCH FACILITY BEING ONLY 50 MILES FROM HIS HOME, HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE COMPUTED ON 50 MILES PROVIDED, OF COURSE, THAT THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY TO WHICH HE WAS TRANSFERRED--- HIS PLACE OF DISCHARGE--- IS AT LEAST 50 MILES FROM THE PLACE OF HIS ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT.'

THIS PRINCIPLE MAY NOT, HOWEVER, BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING EQUAL APPLICATION TO PERSONS DISCHARGED FROM THE ARMY IN THAT THERE IS NO STATUTE WHICH AUTHORIZES AN ELECTION ON THE PART OF THE ENLISTED PERSON AS TO WHETHER HE WILL BE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE TO HIS HOME OR TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES COMPUTED ON THE DISTANCE FROM THE PLACE OF HIS DISCHARGE TO THE PLACE OF HIS ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT. IT IS THEREFORE THE PURPOSE OF THIS COMMUNICATION TO REQUEST WHETHER YOUR OFFICE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES AT THE RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE, IN THE CASE OF ENLISTED PERSONNEL TRANSPORTED IN THE CARE OF AN ATTENDANT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO A VETERANS' FACILITY (HOSPITAL) AND DISCHARGED THEREAT FOR PERMANENT PHYSICAL DISABILITY, FROM SAID VETERANS' FACILITY TO THE PLACE AT WHICH SAID PERSON ENTERED THE SERVICE PROVIDED ARMY REGULATIONS ARE AMENDED TO PROVIDE:

"WHERE DISCHARGE IS EFFECTED AT VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY ENLISTED PERSON IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL PAY FOR DISTANCE FROM VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY TO PLACE OF ENTRY INTO SERVICE.'

THE DECISION TO WHICH YOU REFER, B-49861, 25 COMP. GEN. 95, DATED JULY 25, 1945, CONSIDERED THE RIGHT OF SICK AND INSANE ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY TO A TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE CONTEMPLATED TO BE PAID TO THEM UNDER INSTRUCTIONS CONTAINED IN A JOINT LETTER FROM THE BUREAU OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY AND THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, DATED JULY 27, 1943, COMPUTED ON THE DISTANCE FROM THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY AT WHICH THEY WERE DISCHARGED--- AFTER TRANSFER FROM A NAVAL HOSPITAL--- TO THE PLACE OF ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT OR OTHER COMPARABLE PLACE CONTEMPLATED BY SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, 56 STAT. 1049, CITED IN YOUR LETTER. IT WAS HELD WHERE THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY AT WHICH SUCH AN ENLISTED MAN IS DISCHARGED IS LOCATED IN THE VICINITY OF HIS HOME, NO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE, BUT THAT WHERE SUCH VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY IS LOCATED ELSEWHERE, TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE COMPUTED ON THE DISTANCE FROM THAT PLACE TO HIS HOME, OR FROM THAT PLACE TO THE PLACE OF HIS ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT WHICHEVER DISTANCE IS SHORTER. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT YOUR QUESTION RELATES TO ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY SIMILARLY SITUATED WHO ARE RECOMMENDED FOR DISCHARGE BY A BOARD OF MEDICAL OFFICERS BECAUSE OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY AND WHO ARE TRANSFERRED TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY AND THERE DISCHARGED PURSUANT TO ARMY REGULATIONS 615-361.

IN MOST INSTANCES ENLISTED MEN ARE DISCHARGED FROM THE MILITARY OR NAVAL SERVICES AT A PLACE OTHER THAN THEIR HOME OR WHERE THEY INTEND TO LIVE OR AT A PLACE OTHER THAN THE PLACE AT WHICH THEY WERE ACCEPTED FOR ENLISTMENT. THE GOVERNMENT HAS RECOGNIZED AN OBLIGATION TO RETURN SUCH MEN AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO THE PLACE THEY ENTERED THE SERVICE AND PROVISION HAS BEEN MADE FOR THE PAYMENT OF A TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE COMPUTED ON THE DISTANCE FROM THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE TO THE PLACE SUCH ENLISTED MAN FIRST ENTERED THE SERVICE. SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, SUPRA. IN ADDITION TO THE FOREGOING STATUTORY PROVISION, NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACTS HAVE INCLUDED A PROVISION AUTHORIZING THE FURNISHING OF SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION IN KIND TO ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY DISCHARGED ON MEDICAL SURVEY FROM PLACE OF DISCHARGE TO THEIR HOME. SEE FOR EXAMPLE THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1945, 58 STAT. 308. WHILE SIMILAR PROVISION HAS NOT BEEN MADE FOR THE FURNISHING OF SUCH SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION IN KIND TO ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY DISCHARGED BECAUSE OF MENTAL OR PHYSICAL DISABILITY, THIS OFFICE HAS LOOKED TO THE PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE LAW AND HAS CONCLUDED THAT THAT PURPOSE HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED WHEN SUCH AN ENLISTED MAN HAS BEEN TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO HIS HOME. 11119, SEPTEMBER 29, 1925; A-11779, NOVEMBER 16, 1925; 24 COMP. GEN. 489. WHILE THE DECISION OF JULY 25, 1945, SUPRA, QUOTES AND TO SOME EXTENT RELIES UPON THE ABOVE-CITED PROVISION OF LAW RELATING TO ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY DISCHARGED ON MEDICAL SURVEY, IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT THE DECISIONS INVOLVING ARMY PERSONNEL ARE CITED IN SUPPORT OF THE PRINCIPLE UPON WHICH THAT DECISION RESTS, VIZ., THAT WHERE AN ENLISTED MAN IS FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL IN THE VICINITY OF HIS HOME AND THERE DISCHARGED, NO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID TO HIM INCIDENT TO HIS DISCHARGE EVEN THOUGH THE PLACE OF HIS ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT MAY HAVE BEEN SOME DISTANCE FROM THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE. THAT PRINCIPLE IS BASED UPON THE CONCLUSION THAT THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE LAW DOES NOT CONTEMPLATE THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL IN THE VICINITY OF THE ENLISTED MAN'S HOME, PLUS A TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FROM THAT PLACE BACK TO THE PLACE HE WAS ACCEPTED FOR ENLISTMENT, THE PLACE HE WAS ACCEPTED FOR ENLISTMENT IN SOME INSTANCES BEING THE SAME PLACE FROM WHICH HE COMMENCED TRAVEL TO HIS HOME. IF THAT CONCLUSION IS CORRECT--- AND IT IS BELIEVED IT IS--- IT APPLIES WITH EQUAL FORCE TO ENLISTED MEN OF BOTH THE MILITARY AND NAVAL SERVICES AND TO SITUATIONS WHERE THE HOSPITAL IS NOT LOCATED IN THE VICINITY OF THE ENLISTED MAN'S HOME. IN VIEW OF THE STATED POLICY OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT TO TRANSFER PERMANENTLY DISABLED ENLISTED MEN TO VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION HOSPITALS IN THE VICINITY OF THEIR HOMES, IF POSSIBLE, BEFORE DISCHARGE, THE RULE ANNOUNCED IN THE CITED DECISION OF JULY 25, 1945, WOULD BE FAIR AND EQUITABLE BOTH TO THE GOVERNMENT AND TO THE ENLISTED MEN CONCERNED AND WOULD ACCOMPLISH THE PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THE LAW.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT WHERE AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE ARMY IS RECOMMENDED FOR DISCHARGE BY A BOARD OF MEDICAL OFFICERS BECAUSE OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY, AND IS THEN TRANSFERRED TO A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND IS THERE DISCHARGED, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO A TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IF THAT FACILITY IS LOCATED IN THE VICINITY OF HIS HOME; AND IF THE FACILITY IS NOT IN THE VICINITY OF HIS HOME, HE IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE COMPUTED ON THE DISTANCE FROM THAT FACILITY TO HIS HOME OR TO THE PLACE HE ENTERED THE MILITARY SERVICE AS DESIGNATED IN SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, WHICHEVER IS SHORTER.