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Pay & Leave Claim Decisions

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Office of the General Counsel

70034600
Date: [xxx]

Dear Ms. [xxx]:

This replies to your February 20, 1997 claim for the unpaid compensation of your late husband, [xxx], who was employed by the [agency] at the time of his death. You state that the SF-1152, Designation of Beneficiary of Unpaid Compensation, on file with the [agency] lists a former wife as his beneficiary. However, you assert that you are certain that your husband did not intend this, but rather, that he intended that you receive any benefits payable to him upon his death. You suggest that either the agency lost or misplaced a change of beneficiary form listing you as his beneficiary or that he was mislead to believe that his current wife would get his unpaid compensation, regardless of whom he had designated on his SF-1152. You have enclosed several letters from family members and co-workers to support your claim.

For the reasons stated in Richard A. Davenport, B-249708, Oct. 29, 1992, copy enclosed, we may not approve your claim. As that decision states, absent a subsequent written designation of another individual by an employee, the original SF-1152 remains effective, and payment may be made only to the person(s) named on that form. Although you suggest that a change of beneficiary form naming you as his beneficiary may have been lost or misfiled, there is no evidence that Mr. [xxx] ever executed such a form. Had Mr. [xxx] executed a change of beneficiary form, which would have been witnessed by two other persons, he would have received a copy for his records. That form, or sworn statements from either of two witnesses stating when and where Mr. [xxx] executed the form, would assist the USPS in locating a change form if, in fact, it has been misfiled. However, absent such evidence, as noted above, we have no grounds upon which to direct payment of Mr. [xxx]s unpaid compensation to any person other than the person on the designation form of record.

Very truly yours,

Paul Britner

Senior Attorney

Enclosure

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