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All of the above enumerated benefits were made payable from an appropriation entitled “Adjusted service and dependent pay, Veterans' Bureau,” by an appropriation item under this heading in the amount of $12,000,000 contained in the annual appropriation act for the Executive and independent offices, approved March 3, 1925 (vol. 43, p. 1212). This appropriation was supplemented in the amount of $26,629,398 by the deficiency act of December 5, 1924, and was further increased in the amount of $3,000,000 by the deficiency act approved March 26, 1930, making the total appropriation available $41,629,398.
Section 303 fixed the time limit for filing claims for benefits under the World War adjusted compensation act as January 1, 1928. However, the Seventieth Congress and the Seventy-first Congress each extended this time limit to January 2, 1930 and January 2, 1935, respectively.
COST OF EXTENSION IN TIME LIMIT FOR FILING CLAIMS
The following table shows the approximate cost to September 30, 1931, of these extensions in the time limit for filing claims for adjusted service and dependent pay:
STATUS OF FUND, SEPTEMBER 30, 1931 The following statement shows the condition of the funds appropriated for adjusted service and dependent pay as of September 30, 1931: Amount appropriated.
$41, 629, 398. 00 Net expenditures.
41, 370, 434. 02 Unexpended balance...
258, 963. 98 The quarterly payment due October 1, 1931, for dependency pay, amounted to approximately $439,314, and since the balance available was not sufficient to meet this obligation the Comptroller General was requested to make available for this purpose certain moneys carried in the adjusted-service certificate fund. As of October 1, , 1931, the Comptroller General ruled as follows:
The classes of payments mentioned in your letter as (a), (b), and (c) involve claims upon which, if allowed, payment would be required by law to be made in full in lump sum instead of in installments and as distinguished from continuation of installment payments heretofore begun on claims as required by law by the Veterans' Administration. Therefore, no reason appears why the payment of the claims to be made in lump sum may not wait until funds have been provided by law therefor, there not being involved in these claims such emergency as appears in the installment class of payments already begun, which would justify the use of the adjusted-service certificate fund for the purpose of paying such lump-sum payment claims.
As to payments covered by class (d), it appearing that the dependents whose installment payments have heretofore begun have acquired a vested right under
the law to periodical payments, this office will interpose no objection to the use of the adjusted service certificate fund for continuing such installment payments until the matter is brought to the attention of the Congress at its next session, It should be understood, however, that proper action is to be taken administratively to present to the Congress the matter of the use made and of reimbursing the adjusted service certificate fund, together with the further need for funds for these purposes as early as practicable at the next session of the Congress and that the adjusted service certificate fund will not be used for such payments after the installment payments to be made December 31, 1931, unless specific authority of law therefor has then been given by the Congress.
Item (a) referred to above applies to payment to veterans on new applications where the adjusted credit is not more than $50.
İtem (6) refers to payments on new claims filed by dependents of veterans where the veteran died without making application.
Item (c) refers to payment on new claims filed by dependents for the $60 bonus where the veteran died without receiving the same.
Item (d) refers to quarterly installments due and payable on the basis of claims of dependents of veterans which have been heretofore allowed.
Since the Comptroller General ruled that the adjusted service certificate fund would be made available only for those claims on which quarterly payments had begun prior to October 1, 1931, the balance of $258,963.98 is the only amount available for paying awards of all types pending or approved subsequent to the above date.
AWARDS AND DISBURSEMENTS
The following table shows the number of awards made monthly by type of benefit during the period July 1, 1930, to October 31, 1931. For the purposes of this table and tables following in the development of this estimate, the claims for dependency less than $50 and veterans $50 or less are combined under cash payments.
The following table shows the disbursements during the period July 1, 1930, to September 30, 1931, by type of benefit. The term "cash payment,” as shown in the following table, applies to payments of $50 or less to veterans and less than $50 to dependents of deceased veterans.
The expenditures for October, 1931, are not available but based on the actual number of claims awarded, an obligation of $143,585 and $13,380 is indicated for cash payments and bonus of soldiers who died in service, respectively.
The following table shows the estimated number of awards that may be approved during the period November 1, 1931, to June 30, 1933, by type of benefit:
January. February March. April. May. June
470 472 473 474 475 476
542 6, 430
Total fiscal year 1933.
The above estimate of applications received is based on the experienced trend during the period January 1, 1929, to June 30, 1931, applied to the potential load. The claims indicated for the months of July to December, 1931, are based upon the increase, experienced and expected, from the accumulation of 128,000 applications for benefits of all types under the World War adjusted compensation act reported by the War Department as pending at the beginning of the fiscal year 1932. These claims had accumulated over a considerable period of time, due to the lack of clerical personnel necessary to complete the action specified in the act as a function of the War Department. The War Department advised the Veterans' Administration that it was planned to reduce this pending load to a current basis as soon as possible, and the effect of this action is reflected in the actual awards approved during the period July to October, 1931. In view of the above condition, this estimate anticipates the elimination of this pending load reported by the War Department by December 31, 1931, and from that date carries the experienced trend of applications and awards as indicated heretofore.
The following table shows the estimated disbursements by quarters during the period October 1, 1931 to June 30, 1933. The expenditures indicated below are based on an average value of the several types of awards during the period January 1, 1929, to June 30, 1931.
As indicated above, the balance in the appropriations made for adjusted service and dependent pay as of September 30, 1931, was $258,963.98, and the total estimated amount required during the remaining period of the fiscal year 1932 and the fiscal year 1933 is $4,184,619. The approximate additional amount required to meet expected expenditures through June 30, 1933, is therefore determined as $3,925,655.02, and to meet this requirement a supplemental appropriation of $3,925,000 is now requested. In consideration of the fact that the extension of date for filing applications renders the making of estimates for future expenditures highly problematical, it is proposed, beginning with the fiscal year 1934 and until payment of benefits is completed, to submit an annual estimate of the amount needed as a part of the regular appropriation bill.
NEED OF APPROPRIATION REQUESTED
The CHAIRMAN. General Hines, you stated just a moment ago that this appropriation now being requested was for the balance of this fiscal year, and also, for 1933. You have explained in part the reason for requesting this appropriation for that period of time. What is the amount that you think will be needed for the balance of this fiscal year?
General Hines. Up to June 30?
The Chairman. As I understand it, it would be approximately $2,000,000 up to June 30?
General Hines. Yes, sir.
General Hines. That is right. We make these payments in 10 installments. The total amount due dependents is paid in 10 installments, and they are decreasing.
The CHAIRMAN. Why should not the $1,925,000 be carried in the regular bill?
General Hines. We can do that. If that is more agreeable to you, there is no objection to that. We thought that we would put it all together. The Chairman. It would not impede the payments?
General HINES. No, sir, but we would have to add this amount to the regular appropriation for 1933.
Mr. WOODRUM. You had better leave it in this deficiency bill.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, I do not know what the committee may think about it, but it seems to me that it would present a clearer picture of what it is costing if we made the appropriation in that way.
General Hines. We have never considered the payments to dependents and the cash payments on an annual basis. Congress made the appropriation in lump sum to start with, and we have added to it as we anticipated the needs. That has really kept us away from the annual cost. We have felt, of course, that this is tied to the bonus more than it is tied to the annual operations. It is a special sort of proposition. Certainly, however, if the committee feels there would be any advantage in having it that way, we can not object to it.
The Chairman. The money has got to be appropriated. I do not know that there would be any advantage from the standpoint of the Government or the Treasury to appropriate it that way, but I was wondering if it would not present a clearer picture of what it is costing us.
Now, General, you say that $1,925,000, will be needed for 1933. Do
you anticipate that that much more will be needed after that? General HINES. No, sir; I do not. Of course, they will run along, and there will be new batches coming in. There will be some coming in all the time, but I would say that you would come pretty close to winding it up with this
with this appropriation. Of course, we are faced again with the further extension problem, but I can not see any excuse for extending the time for filing applications after 1935. I would predict that the whole thing would be over by that time, or settled in one way or the other. The amount we