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Office of the General Counsel

Date: December 13, 1999
Matter of: [xxx]
File Number: S003183

OPM Contact: Murray M. Meeker

In March 1998, the claimant, an employee with the [xxx], in [xxx], requested information concerning her entitlement to a Separate Maintenance Allowance (SMA) for her husband, a civilian federal employee then stationed at the [xxx] in [xxx]. The claimant was erroneously advised that she was not entitled to an SMA because her husband was not residing in the United States.

On November 30, 1998, the claimant's husband transferred to [xxx]in [xxx], and in February 1999, the claimant attended a Regional Meeting where she was advised to pursue her SMA request. The claimant subsequently applied for an SMA which was granted effective March 25, 1999, the date when the claimant's application was received. The claimant now seeks SMA retroactive to March 1998. The agency has denied the claimant's request for retroactive SMA and we concur. The fact that the claimant received misinformation does not result in her entitle-ment to retroactive benefits. See Richmond v. OPM, 496 U.S. 414, 425-426 (1990); Falso v. OPM, 116 F.3d 459 (Fed. Cir. 1997); and 60 Comp. Gen. 417 (1981).

Accordingly, the claim is denied. This settlement is final. No further administrative review is available within OPM. Nothing in this settlement limits the employee's right to bring an action in an appropriate United States Court.

Control Panel