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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 daughter of the deceased veteran.
The veteran died on September 28, 1994, and was survived by a daughter. The veteran was entitled to a retroactive amount of $8,377, which the bank returned, unnegotiated to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
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 payee's estate. The amount represented by such check, or any amount recovered by reason of improper negotiation of any such check, shall be payable in the manner provided in section 5121 of this title.
Title 38, U.S.C., section 5121(a) (2) provides that, upon the death of a veteran receiving benefits, the accrued but unpaid veteran's benefits are to be paid to the deceased veteran's survivors, to the living person first listed below: (A) The veteran's spouse; (B) The veteran's children (in equal shares); (C) The veteran's dependent parents (in equal shares).
The present record shows that the decedent is survived by a daughter. Accordingly, the decedent's retroactive payment check of $8,377 should be reissued in the name of his daughter, if otherwise correct.
We are returning the file on this claim for action per our determination. The decedent's daughter is being advised of our determination by a copy of this letter.