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OPM Contact: Joann Charleston
This responds to a request for assistance in determining the disposition of unnegotiated veterans benefits. We have determined that the amount at issue should be paid to the estate of the veteran.
The veteran died on May 18, 1993, and was survived by his mother, a brother, and a sister. On October 7, 1993, the veterans mother received Letters of Administration as Administratrix of the estate of her son from the Register of Wills Office, [county, state].
A check in the amount of $17,050.00 was issued to the veteran on the date of his death, which the veterans mother returned, unnegotiated, to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The VA awarded the mother $3,526.00 for the expenses of her sons last sickness and burial. As administratrix of the estate, the veterans mother claims the amount remaining in the decedents veterans benefits account, which the agency calculates to be $13,524.00.
Title 38, United States Code (U.S.C.), section 5122, states in part that a check received by a payee in payment of accrued benefits shall, if the payee died on or after the last day of the period covered by the check, be returned to the issuing office and canceled, unless negotiated by the payee or duly appointed representative of the payees estate.
The record shows that the mother has been duly appointed to represent the estate of the deceased under the laws of [state]. Accordingly, the decedents remaining $13,524.00 in unpaid veterans benefits should be paid to his mother as Administratrix of his estate, if otherwise correct.
We are returning the file on this claim for action per our determination. The decedents mother is being advised of our determination by a copy of this letter.