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2000 Military Personnel Redacted Decisions

 

      These 45 redacted Board decisions involve claims related to uniformed service members' pay, allowances, travel, transportation, retired pay, and survivor benefits. The uniformed service member may be a member of a Service within DoD, like the Army, or one outside of DoD like the Public Health Service. This group of decisions also includes waiver applications which result from the erroneous overpayment of these pay, allowances or other benefits to, or on behalf of, a service member.

Other years: 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

General; waiver of indebtedness

12/28/2000

A retired service member's request under 10 U.S.C. 2774 that the Department of Defense waive collection of erroneous overpayments of active duty pay and allowances paid to him by direct deposit after he retired is denied, and the member is partially at fault, where the member merely contends, without documentary support, that he expected a bonus check from an outside source.


General; waiver of indebtedness - SBP premium

12/28/2000

A retired member of the Air Force elected participation in Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP), but deductions from his retired pay were not made for over six years. The member should have been alerted to the error because no deduction for RCSBP premiums was shown on his retired pay statement. Further, he should have made inquiries regarding the language contained on his retired pay statement stating that no RCSBP election had been made. Since the member is thus not without "fault," waiver may not be granted. In addition, if the member died within the six years when premiums were not being deducted, his widow would have received an RCSBP annuity. Since the member received the benefit of RCSBP coverage for those six years, repayment of the unpaid premiums may not be waived.


General; waiver of indebtedness

12/18/2000

The Department of Defense made several payments to the member around the time of his involuntary discharge due to failure to meet height/weight standards. The total payment was erroneous because the payments were made without a full consideration of all of the debts the member owed, including recoupment of a part of his Selective Re-enlistment Bonus (SRB). The member was initially cautious, but he believed that he was due all of the payments made to him at that time, in part, because he states that he was advised by an unidentified finance staff member that he was not required to reimburse the government for unearned SRB. In view of the nature of his discharge, the member should have followed through on his initial caution and obtained corroboration from a named official specifically describing to the member the benefits he should expect and the basis for them.  This decision was affirmed by the Deputy General Counsel (Fiscal) on May 1, 2002.


Reserve Pay; special separation pay General; waiver

12/12/2000

1. Under Section 4416 of the Defense Conversion, Reinvestment, and Transition Assistance Act of 1992, and implementing Department of Defense and Army regulations, a troop program unit member who is involuntarily separated from the Selected Reserve and who has at least 20 years of service creditable for retirement, may receive up to five years of Reserve Special Separation Pay (RSSP) if he loses his position due to reorganization, inactivation, deactivation or relocation of the unit. However, he would be eligible for only one annual RSSP payment if he is separated due to maximum years of service. The orders that transferred the member to the Retired Reserve stated that the Army separated him from the Selected Reserve because he had attained maximum years of service. The member claims he is owed five payments, rather than one annual payment, because a Personnel Action, a leave and earnings statement (LES) and other documentation indicated that the unit was reorganized. The member's claim fails where the member had attained maximum years of service for his rank as indicated in applicable regulations; the orders which transferred him to the Retired Reserve due to maximum years of service are facially valid; and the member failed to show that the unit reorganization had an adverse affect on him.   2. Even though the member is entitled to only one and not five years of RSSP payments, we may waive collection of the erroneous payment to him in the second year where official documentation (an acknowledged Personnel Action and a LES) indicate that he is due five payments and nothing on the record indicates that the member should have known that he was due only one annual payment.


General; Meritorious Claims Act

11/28/2000

A member and his spouse forfeited their security deposit to their landlord after a household goods carrier, under contract to the Army to perform the move for the member, damaged the landlord's premises while moving the member's personal property. A recommendation for relief under the Meritorious Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3702(d), is not appropriate because the claim is not extraordinary and does not involve equitable circumstances of an unusual nature which are unlikely to recur.


General; waiver of indebtedness - dual compensation

10/27/2000

A retired military officer accepted a part-time, intermittent position with the federal government. After thirty days of employment, his military retired pay should have been reduced under 5 U.S.C. 5532, but was not. While the member may have assumed that he had been granted an exemption, he had a duty to verify the existence of the exemption. Since he did not do so, he is not without fault in the accrual of the resulting debt, and waiver is therefore not appropriate.


General; waiver of indebtedness - VA compensation

10/25/2000

A retired member of the United States Army Reserve applied for irregular retired pay and stated in his application that he was receiving compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). However, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service erroneously failed to deduct an amount equivalent to the amount the member was receiving in VA compensation as required under 38 U.S.C. 3105. Thereafter, VA granted a significant increase in compensation from $87 per month to $298 per month after several months of fluctuations above and below this latter amount. The member admits that he did not pay much attention to these changes and assumed that the proper adjustments would be made in accordance with his experience during Reserve service. The record indicates that the member had received VA compensation for a number of years and knew that he was not permitted to receive the full amount of both military pay and VA compensation for the same period of time. In these circumstances, the member had a duty to question the amount of retired pay he was receiving; waiver is not appropriate.


General; waiver of indebtedness

10/04/2000

When a former member receives a payment to which he knows or should know that he is not entitled, he has a responsibility to bring the payment to the attention of the appropriate authorities and to persist in questioning them until appropriate action is taken. If he does not do so, he is not without fault, and waiver cannot be granted.


General; waiver of indebtedness

09/28/2000

The former spouse of a retired Coast Guard member applied for direct payment for child support under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA), supported by a state court order awarding the former spouse $601 per month as support for both of their children. Under the terms of the application, the former spouse promised to voluntarily reimburse the Coast Guard for any future overpayments that she received from the retired pay account and to promptly notify the Coast Guard if under the supporting court order, a direct payment as child support is no longer effective because the children reached majority. In April 1999, the former spouse certified to the continued minority of her children for purposes of direct payment under the USFSPA, but the younger child became 18 in August 1999. Due to administrative error, the Coast Guard paid the former spouse three additional direct payments (September through November 1999), and the former spouse applied for a waiver of the overpayment under 10 U.S.C. 2774. Under these circumstances, the former spouse is partially at fault for the overpayment because she was on notice that she might not have a right to direct payment under USFSPA for child support after August 1999.


General; waiver of indebtedness

09/28/2000

Navy member erroneously continued to receive Basic Allowance for Quarters and Variable Housing Allowance when he and his dependents were assigned government quarters. The member should have expected his pay to decrease substantially when he moved into government quarters. Waiver may not be granted because the member should have questioned the accuracy of his pay when it did not decrease.


Travel; disciplinary travel

09/18/2000

Under the Joint Federal Travel Regulations, a member on disciplinary travel is not entitled to per diem for such travel.


General; waiver of indebtedness - statute of

08/23/2000

1. In order for waiver to be considered under 10 U.S.C. 2774, a member or former member must make a waiver request within three years of the discovery of the debt by finance officials. 2. When a member or former member receives a payment to which he knows or should know that he is not entitled, he has a responsibility to bring the payment to the attention of the appropriate authorities and to persist in questioning it until appropriate action is taken. If he does not do so, he is not without fault, and waiver cannot be granted.


General; waiver of indebtedness

08/22/2000

A retired service member requested that the government issue a check directly to him for his pay and allowances earned during a period of military service because the proceeds of the usual direct deposit check, payable to the member's financial institution on his behalf, were not deposited to his account. Later, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) audited the member's account and produced documentary evidence that the member's financial institution had presented the regularly scheduled direct deposit check for payment. The member does not dispute this documentary evidence, but the member still contends that his account was never credited with the proceeds. Our Office had a reasonable basis for denial of the member's waiver request involving the debt that resulted from the government's erroneous payment of the second check when the member failed to produce his bank statement showing no deposit of the direct deposit check.


General; waiver of indebtedness - dual compensation

08/22/2000

A retired Army officer accepted a civilian position with the federal government, and his military retired pay became subject to the Dual Compensation statute. Due to administrative error, his pay was not reduced as was required under 5 U.S.C. 5532. Waiver is not appropriate because the member was aware of the Dual Compensation statute and should have questioned his entitlement to unreduced military retired pay.


General; waiver of indebtedness - leave restoration

08/03/2000

A member was retired from the Air Force in 1994, but his record was later corrected under 10 U.S.C. § 1552 to indicate that he was not retired, but remained on uninterrupted active duty. Repayment of the Lump Sum Leave payment he received in 1994 may be waived under 10 U.S.C. § 2774. Under 10 U.S.C. § 501(f), only 60 days of leave may be credited to his leave account.


Pay; retired pay - SBP

07/21/2000

A member elected Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) coverage for his spouse at retirement. Although the member states that he attempted to elect former spouse SBP coverage immediately after his subsequent divorce, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service did not receive notification of the divorce until more than three years after it occurred. Since the member did not elect former spouse SBP coverage within one year of his divorce and his former spouse did not request a deemed election within that year, the member's claim for coverage for her must be denied. The member elected SBP coverage for his current spouse after he remarried, and she remains his SBP beneficiary in the absence of a court order modifying the divorce decree in such a way as to give the member's former spouse a right to an SBP annuity which she did not have in the original decree.


Travel; reimbursement -

06/26/2000

A member who purchased airline tickets for temporary duty official travel did not purchase the tickets from a travel agency under government contract or other approved facility. Reimbursement of the member is not proper because paragraph U3120 of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (1 JFTR U3120) requires that the member purchase tickets from one of the facilities described in 1 JFTR U3120-A unless under 1 JFTR U3120-B the order-issuing official authorized or later approved purchase from a non-authorized facility due to unusual circumstances when there was no alternative.


Travel; reimbursement -

06/23/2000

A member who purchased airline tickets for temporary duty official travel did not purchase the tickets from a travel agency under government contract or other approved facility. Reimbursement of the member is not proper because paragraph U3120 of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (1 JFTR U3120) requires that the member purchase tickets from one of the facilities described in 1 JFTR U3120-A unless under 1 JFTR U3120-B the order-issuing official authorized or later approved purchase from a non-authorized facility due to unusual circumstances when there was no alternative.


Travel; reimbursement -

06/22/2000

A member who purchased airline tickets for temporary duty official travel did not purchase the tickets from a travel agency under government contract or other approved facility. Reimbursement of the member is not proper because paragraph U3120 of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (1 JFTR U3120) requires that the member purchase tickets from one of the facilities described in 1 JFTR U3120-A unless under 1 JFTR U3120-B the order-issuing official authorized or later approved purchase from a non-authorized facility due to unusual circumstances when there was no alternative.


Travel; reimbursement -

06/22/2000

A member who purchased airline tickets for temporary duty official travel did not purchase the tickets from a travel agency under government contract or other approved facility. Reimbursement of the member is not proper because paragraph U3120 of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (1 JFTR U3120) requires that the member purchase tickets from one of the facilities described in 1 JFTR U3120-A unless under 1 JFTR U3120-B the order-issuing official authorized or later approved purchase from a non-authorized facility due to unusual circumstances when there was no alternative.


Travel; reimbursement -

06/19/2000

A member who purchased airline tickets for temporary duty official travel did not purchase the tickets from a travel agency under government contract or other approved facility. Reimbursement of the member is not proper because paragraph U3120 of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (1 JFTR U3120) requires that the member purchase tickets from one of the facilities described in 1 JFTR U3120-A unless under 1 JFTR U3120-B the order-issuing official authorized or later approved purchase from a non-authorized facility due to unusual circumstances when there was no alternative.


Travel; reimbursement -

06/15/2000

A member who purchased airline tickets for temporary duty official travel did not purchase the tickets from a travel agency under government contract or other approved facility. Reimbursement of the member is not proper because paragraph U3120 of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (1 JFTR U3120) requires that the member purchase tickets from one of the facilities described in 1 JFTR U3120-A unless under 1 JFTR U3120-B the order-issuing official authorized or later approved purchase from a non-authorized facility due to unusual circumstances when there was no alternative.


Travel; reimbursement -

06/15/2000

A member who purchased airline tickets for emergency leave official travel did not purchase the tickets from a travel agency under government contract or other approved facility. Reimbursement of the member is not proper because paragraph U3120 of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (1 JFTR U3120) requires that the member purchase tickets from one of the facilities described in 1 JFTR U3120-A. The record contains no indication that a proper exception applied under 1 JFTR U3120-B: e.g., the order-issuing official did not authorize or later approve purchase from a non-authorized facility due to unusual circumstances when there was no alternative, or if a foreign country was involved, as in the present claim, when CTO services were not reasonably available and ticketing arrangements could not have been made through a branch office or general agent of an American-flag carrier.


Travel; reimbursement -

06/12/2000

A member who purchased airline tickets for temporary duty official travel did not purchase the tickets from a travel agency under government contract or other approved facility. Reimbursement of the member is not proper because paragraph U3120 of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (1 JFTR U3120) requires that the member purchase tickets from one of the facilities described in 1 JFTR U3120-A unless under 1 JFTR U3120-B the order-issuing official authorized or later approved purchase from a non-authorized facility due to unusual circumstances when there was no alternative.


Travel; reimbursement -

06/12/2000

A member who purchased airline tickets for temporary duty official travel did not purchase the tickets from a travel agency under government contract or other approved facility. Reimbursement of the member is not proper because paragraph U3120 of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (1 JFTR U3120) requires that the member purchase tickets from one of the facilities described in 1 JFTR U3120-A unless under 1 JFTR U3120-B the order-issuing official authorized or later approved purchase from a non-authorized facility due to unusual circumstances when there was no alternative.


Travel; reimbursement -

06/12/2000

A member who purchased airline tickets for temporary duty official travel did not purchase the tickets from a travel agency under government contract or other approved facility. Reimbursement of the member is not proper because paragraph U3120 of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (1 JFTR U3120) requires that the member purchase tickets from one of the facilities described in 1 JFTR U3120-A unless under 1 JFTR U3120-B the order-issuing official authorized or later approved purchase from a non-authorized facility due to unusual circumstances when there was no alternative.


Travel; reimbursement - U3120 limitation

06/08/2000

A member who purchased airline tickets for temporary duty official travel did not purchase the tickets from a travel agency under government contract or other approved facility. Reimbursement of the member is not proper because paragraph U3120 of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (1 JFTR U3120) requires that the member purchase tickets from one of the facilities described in 1 JFTR U3120-A unless under 1 JFTR U3120-B the order-issuing official authorized or later approved purchase from a non-authorized facility due to unusual circumstances when there was no alternative.


Travel; reimbursement - U3120

06/08/2000

A member who purchased airline tickets for temporary duty official travel did not purchase the tickets from a travel agency under government contract or other approved facility. Reimbursement of the member is not proper because paragraph U3120 of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (1 JFTR U3120) requires that the member purchase tickets from one of the facilities described in 1 JFTR U3120-A unless under 1 JFTR U3120-B the order-issuing official authorized or later approved purchase from a non-authorized facility due to unusual circumstances when there was no alternative.


General; waiver of indebtedness - post-discharge

06/01/2000

After discharge, a service member received 3 active duty payments and for 5 months allotment payments were made on his behalf. The member took appropriate action and returned the active duty payments to the government upon request. When the member recouped the allotment payments from his ex-wife, he should have refunded that amount to the government. The member did not acquire title to these payments; and under the circumstances, waiver is not appropriate.


General; waiver of indebtedness - pay after discharge

05/30/2000

Four months after discharge, a service member began to receive mid-month and end-of-month direct deposits of pay which continued for 12 months. The service member should have questioned his entitlement to these payments and set aside the amounts for eventual return to the government. Waiver is denied.


Travel; reimbursement - authorized

05/30/2000

A member who purchased airline tickets for official temporary duty travel (TDY) did not purchase the tickets from a travel agency under government contract or other approved facility, and such a facility appears to have existed at his overseas assignment. Reimbursement of the member is not proper because paragraph U3120-A of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR) requires that the member purchase tickets from one of the facilities described in 1 JFTR U3120-A unless the order-issuing official authorized purchase from a non-authorized facility due to unusual circumstances, or under 1 JFTR U3120-B the member can demonstrate that such a facility was not reasonably available at his overseas location.


General; waiver of indebtedness

05/26/2000

Waiver of overpayment of active duty pay and allowances received after discharge is denied. A reasonable person would know that deposits had been made in his bank account. Under the circumstances, collection is not against equity and good conscience.


General; waiver of indebtedness

05/10/2000

When a member suspects that he is receiving overpayments, he does not acquire title to the excess amounts and has a duty to hold them until the validity of the payments is established. If the payments are determined to be erroneous, he has a duty to return them. In such a situation, waiver under 10 U.S.C. 2774 is not appropriate.


Travel; reimbursement Travel; air travel

05/05/2000

A member who purchased airline tickets for temporary duty official travel did not purchase the tickets from a travel agency under government contract or other approved facility. Reimbursement of the member is not proper because paragraph U3120 of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (1 JFTR U3120) requires that the member purchase tickets from one of the facilities described in 1 JFTR U3120-A1 unless under 1 JFTR U3120-B the order-issuing official authorized or later approved purchase from a non-authorized facility due to unusual circumstances when there was no alternative.


Travel; burden of proof - attempted delivery

05/04/2000

On disputed questions of fact between the claimant and the administrative officers of the government, we accept the statement of fact furnished by the administrative officers in the absence of clear and convincing contrary evidence. When a transportation management office (TMO) maintains logs with summaries of service members' contacts with its office for purposes of scheduling deliveries, and the record for one service member fails to indicate that he contacted the TMO to re-schedule delivery of his household goods, the absence of an entry is indicative of the member's failure to contact the TMO for that purpose.


Travel; reimbursement - authorized travel agent

04/19/2000

A member who purchased airline tickets for official travel pursuant to Consecutive Overseas Tour (COT) leave did not purchase the tickets from a travel agency under government contract or other approved facility, and such a facility appears to have existed at his overseas assignment. Reimbursement of the member is not proper because paragraph U3120-A of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR) requires that the member purchase tickets from one of the facilities described in 1 JFTR U3120-A unless the order issuing official authorized purchase from a non-authorized facility due to unusual circumstances, or under 1 JFTR U3120-B the member can demonstrate that such a facility was not reasonably available at his overseas location.


General; waiver of indebtedness

04/17/2000

A travel advance is generally an appropriate payment when made, and therefore a debt resulting from receipt of a travel advance is not subject to waiver under 10 U.S.C. 2774. Debt of a member who received an advance for the movement of his mobile home and who sold the mobile home before moving is not subject to waiver consideration. The member should have returned the advance at the time of the sale, because he knew he would not be using the advance for its intended purpose, and sought advice as to other entitlements.


General; waiver of indebtedness

04/13/2000

Under 10 U.S.C. 2774, a member is considered partially at fault when he knew or should have known that he was erroneously receiving payments to which he was not entitled. When a member was separated, he expected to receive a lump sum plus payments for an undetermined number of months. He continued to receive pay and allowances for a total of 19 months after his discharge without continuing to question his entitlements. Partial waiver is granted representing a month-and-a-half of payments he reasonably accepted as payment for his accrued leave. Waiver of the remainder of the debt is denied.


General; waiver of indebtedness

03/31/2000

A disbursing office's administrative error or lack of assistance is not a proper basis by itself to allow waiver of a former service member's debt for the erroneous overpayment of pay and allowances under 10 U.S.C. 2774. The member does not acquire title to any excess payments merely because the government committed administrative error, and when the member suspects error, he has the duty to hold questionable payments until he is requested to repay the excess amount or until the propriety of the payments is established by a proper official.


Travel; boats

03/21/2000

A Coast Guard member requested authorization for a do-it-yourself (DITY) move in order to receive a DITY move incentive payment to sail the sailboat on which he lives from his old duty station to his new one. The Coast Guard refused to authorize the DITY move. The member's claim for the incentive payment is denied because paragraph U5320-E of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations requires Service approval. The member is entitled to reimbursement for the actual expenses incurred in sailing the boat between his old and new duty stations or $ .30 per mile for the distance between the duty stations.


Pay; retired pay - government liability for

03/16/2000

A 1978 divorce decree provided, as part of a community property settlement, that a former spouse had a right to $420 per month of a Navy member's retired pay. This amount was reduced to $200 upon remarriage. The former spouse applied for direct payment under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA), and she remarried in June 1983 without advising the member or the Navy of the change in her status. In 1999, the member discovered that his former spouse had remarried, and filed a claim with DFAS (as the Navy's successor) for underpayment of his retired pay between June 1983 and August 1999. The member bases his claim on an alleged duty of the Navy and DFAS to continually "police" the former spouse's entitlement. No such duty is contained in the USFSPA or its implementing regulations. The member did not provide evidence that the Navy or DFAS violated the USFSPA or its implementing regulations, and therefore, the sovereign immunity provision of the USFSPA precludes recovery in this instance. The risk of loss remains with the member.


Travel; reimbursement - cancellation fee

03/08/2000

A service member purchased tickets from a non-contract travel agency in anticipation of travel orders after seeking instructions from base officials. After purchasing the tickets, the member became aware of the requirement to purchase tickets through a contract travel office. Upon the advice of base officials, the member canceled the tickets and re-booked the flights through a contract travel office. The member's claim for reimbursement of the cancellation fee charged by the travel agency is denied.


Travel; reimbursement - personal expenditure

03/06/2000

For personal reasons, a member attempted to change the routing of his return flight to Turkey from his temporary duty in the United States. In the process of attempting to make the change, the government travel office canceled his originally-scheduled flights. The airline refused to make the change in the tickets, and, as a result, the member purchased a return ticket at his own expense. Under the Joint Federal Travel Regulations, unless the authority responsible certifies that the directed mode was not available at the time and place required to comply with the orders, reimbursement is prohibited for transportation at personal expense. The member's claim is denied unless the responsible authority so certifies.


Travel; personal convenience

02/28/2000

A member was attending graduate school while awaiting Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) proceedings. The member preferred to have the MEB performed at the military hospital in Hawaii where his injuries had been treated. Before travel orders had been issued directing him to an MEB, the member scheduled an MEB for himself in January 1998 at the hospital in Hawaii and in December 1997 purchased tickets directly from an airline company for his travel there. When orders were later issued to confirm verbal orders of January 1998 directing the member to make two trips to Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) for MEB proceedings, the member submitted for reimbursement the receipts for his trip to Hawaii. Reimbursement was denied. The member may not be reimbursed for his travel because he had not received travel orders before he purchased airline tickets as required by paragraph () U2100 of volume 1 of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR), and in fact he was never ordered to travel to Hawaii. Reimbursement is also not proper because he did not purchase the tickets through an approved source as required by 1 JFTR U3120-A. Although the member was denied reimbursement for his travel, he was paid per diem totaling $568 under the WRAMC orders, even though he did not travel to WRAMC. DFAS may recoup the $568 from the member because he was not in a travel status on the dates for which per diem was paid, since he did not have travel orders for the travel he performed as required by 1 JFTR U2200-A.


Travel; fraudulent claim

01/20/2000

A Navy member submitted a fraudulent travel voucher for dislocation allowance and travel expenses for his dependents incident to a permanent change of station. The voucher was fraudulent because his dependents had not moved at the time the voucher was submitted. The Navy discovered the fraud before a check was issued to the member. When his dependents actually moved, the member submitted a claim for the same amount. That claim is denied, since the fraudulent claim nullifies a subsequent claim arising from the same change of station.


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Last updated 16 Aug 2014