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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of November 25, 2014

Title 5Chapter ISubchapter B → Part 178


Title 5: Administrative Personnel


PART 178—PROCEDURES FOR SETTLING CLAIMS


Contents

Subpart A—Administrative Claims—Compensation and Leave, Deceased Employees' Accounts and Proceeds of Canceled Checks for Veterans' Benefits Payable to Deceased Beneficiaries

§178.101   Scope of subpart.
§178.102   Procedures for submitting claims.
§178.103   Claim filed by a claimant's representative.
§178.104   Statutory limitations on claims.
§178.105   Basis of claim settlements.
§178.106   Form of claim settlements.
§178.107   Finality of claim settlements.

Subpart B—Settlement of Accounts for Deceased Civilian Officers and Employees

§178.201   Scope of subpart.
§178.202   Definitions.
§178.203   Designation of beneficiary.
§178.204   Order of payment precedence.
§178.205   Procedures upon death of employee.
§178.206   Return of unnegotiated Government checks.
§178.207   Claims settlement jurisdiction.
§178.208   Applicability of general procedures.

Source: 62 FR 68139, Dec. 31, 1997, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—Administrative Claims—Compensation and Leave, Deceased Employees' Accounts and Proceeds of Canceled Checks for Veterans' Benefits Payable to Deceased Beneficiaries

Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3702; 5 U.S.C. 5583; 38 U.S.C. 5122; Pub. L. No. 104-53, 211, Nov. 19, 1995; E.O. 12107.

§178.101   Scope of subpart.

(a) Claims covered. This subpart prescribes general procedures applicable to claims against the United States that may be settled by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3702, 5 U.S.C. 5583 and 38 U.S.C. 5122. In general, these claims involve Federal employees' compensation and leave and claims for proceeds of canceled checks for veterans' benefits payable to deceased beneficiaries.

(b) Claims not covered. This subpart does not apply to claims that are under the exclusive jurisdiction of administrative agencies pursuant to specific statutory authority or claims concerning matters that are subject to negotiated grievance procedures under collective bargaining agreements entered into pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 7121(a). Also, these procedures do not apply to claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Procedures for FLSA claims are set out in part 551 of this chapter.

§178.102   Procedures for submitting claims.

(a) Content of claims. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, a claim shall be submitted by the claimant in writing and must be signed by the claimant or by the claimant's representative. While no specific form is required, the request should describe the basis for the claim and state the amount sought. The claim should also include:

(1) The name, address, telephone number and facsimile machine number, if available, of the claimant;

(2) The name, address, telephone number and facsimile machine number, if available, of the agency employee who denied the claim;

(3) A copy of the denial of the claim; and,

(4) Any other information which the claimant believes OPM should consider.

(b) Agency submissions of claims. At the discretion of the agency, the agency may forward the claim to OPM on the claimant's behalf. The claimant is responsible for ensuring that OPM receives all the information requested in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Administrative report. At OPM's discretion, OPM may request the agency to provide an administrative report. This report should include:

(1) The agency's factual findings;

(2) The agency's conclusions of law with relevant citations;

(3) The agency's recommendation for disposition of the claim;

(4) A complete copy of any regulation, instruction, memorandum, or policy relied upon by the agency in making its determination;

(5) A statement that the claimant is or is not a member of a collective bargaining unit, and if so, a statement that the claim is or is not covered by a negotiated grievance procedure that specifically excludes the claim from coverage; and

(6) Any other information that the agency believes OPM should consider.

(d) Canceled checks for veterans' benefits. Claims for the proceeds of canceled checks for veterans' benefits payable to deceased beneficiaries must be accompanied by evidence that the claimant is the duly appointed representative of the decedent's estate and that the estate will not escheat.

(e) Where to submit claims. (1) All claims under this section should be sent to the Program Manager, Office of Merit Systems Oversight and Effectiveness, Room 7671, Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415. Telephone inquiries regarding these claims may be made to (202) 606-7948.

(2) FLSA claims should be sent to the appropriate OPM Oversight Division as provided in part 551 of this chapter.

[62 FR 68139, Dec. 31, 1997, as amended at 65 FR 40967, July 3, 2000]

§178.103   Claim filed by a claimant's representative.

A claim filed by a claimant's representative must be supported by a duly executed power of attorney or other documentary evidence of the representative's right to act for the claimant.

§178.104   Statutory limitations on claims.

(a) Statutory limitations relating to claims generally. Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section or as otherwise provided by law, all claims against the United States Government are subject to the 6-year statute of limitations contained in 31 U.S.C. 3702(b). To satisfy the statutory limitation, a claim must be received by the Office of Personnel Management, or by the department or agency out of whose activities the claim arose, within 6 years from the date the claim accrued. The claimant is responsible for proving that the claim was filed within the applicable statute of limitations.

(b) Claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Claims arising under the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. 207, et seq., must be received by the Office of Personnel Management, or by the department or agency out of whose activity the claim arose, within the time limitations specified in the FLSA.

(c) Other statutory limitations. Statutes of limitation other than that identified in paragraph (a) of this section may apply to certain claims. Claimants are responsible for informing themselves regarding other possible statutory limitations.

§178.105   Basis of claim settlements.

The burden is upon the claimant to establish the timeliness of the claim, the liability of the United States, and the claimant's right to payment. The settlement of claims is based upon the written record only, which will include the submissions by the claimant and the agency. OPM will accept the facts asserted by the agency, absent clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.

§178.106   Form of claim settlements.

OPM will send a settlement to the claimant advising whether the claim may be allowed in whole or in part. If OPM requested an agency report or if the agency forwarded the claim on behalf of the claimant, OPM also will send the agency a copy of the settlement.

§178.107   Finality of claim settlements.

(a) The OPM settlement is final; no further administrative review is available within OPM.

(b) Nothing is this subpart limits the right of a claimant to bring an action in an appropriate United States court.

Subpart B—Settlement of Accounts for Deceased Civilian Officers and Employees

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5581, 5582, 5583.

§178.201   Scope of subpart.

(a) Accounts covered. This subpart prescribes forms and procedures for the prompt settlement of accounts of deceased civilian officers and employees of the Federal Government and of the government of the District of Columbia (including wholly owned and mixed-ownership Government corporations), as stated in 5 U.S.C. 5581, 5582, 5583.

(b) Accounts not covered. This subpart does not apply to accounts of deceased officers and employees of the Federal land banks, Federal intermediate credit banks, or regional banks for cooperatives (see 5 U.S.C. 5581(1)). Also, these procedures do not apply to payment of unpaid balance of salary or other sums due deceased Senators or Members of the House of Representatives or their officers or employees (see 2 U.S.C. 36a, 38a).

§178.202   Definitions.

(a) The term deceased employees as used in this part includes former civilian officers and employees who die subsequent to separation from the employing agency.

(b) The term money due means the pay, salary, or allowances due on account of the services of the decedent for the Federal Government or the government of the District of Columbia. It includes, but is not limited to:

(1) All per diem instead of subsistence, mileage, and amounts due in reimbursement of travel expenses, including incidental and miscellaneous expenses which are incurred in connection with the travel and for which reimbursement is due;

(2) All allowances upon change of official station;

(3) All quarters and cost-of-living allowances and overtime or premium pay;

(4) Amounts due for payment of cash awards for employees' suggestions;

(5) Amounts due as refund of salary deductions for United States Savings bonds;

(6) Payment for all accumulated and current accrued annual or vacation leave equal to the pay the decedent would have received had he or she lived and remained in the service until the expiration of the period of such annual or vacation leave;

(7) The amounts of all checks drawn in payment of such compensation which were not delivered by the Government to the officer or employee during his or her lifetime or of any unnegotiated checks returned to the Government because of the death of the officer or employee; and

(8) Retroactive pay under 5 U.S.C. 5344(b)(2).

§178.203   Designation of beneficiary.

(a) Agency notification. The employing agency shall notify each employee of his or her right to designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries to receive money due, and of the disposition of money due if a beneficiary is not designated. An employee may change or revoke a designation at any time under regulations promulgated by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management or his or her designee.

(b) Designation Form. Standard Form 1152, Designation of Beneficiary, Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Civilian Employee, is prescribed for use by employees in designating a beneficiary and in changing or revoking a previous designation; each agency will furnish the employee a Standard Form 1152 upon request. In the absence of the prescribed form, however, any designation, change, or cancellation of beneficiary witnessed and filed in accordance with the general requirements of this part will be acceptable.

(c) Who may be designated. An employee may designate any person or persons as beneficiary. The term person or persons as used in this part includes a legal entity or the estate of the deceased employee.

(d) Executing and filing a designation of beneficiary form. The Standard Form 1152 must be executed in duplicate by the employee and filed with the employing agency where the proper officer will sign it and insert the date of receipt in the space provided on each part, file the original, and return the duplicate to the employee. When a designation of beneficiary is changed or revoked, the employing agency should return the earlier designation to the employee, keeping a copy of only the current designation on file.

(e) Effective period of a designation. A properly executed and filed designation of beneficiary will be effective as long as employment by the same agency continues. If an employee resigns and is reemployed, or is transferred to another agency, the employee must execute another designation of beneficiary form in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section. A new designation of beneficiary is not required, however, when an employee's agency or site, function, records, equipment, and personnel are absorbed by another agency.

§178.204   Order of payment precedence.

To facilitate the settlement of the accounts of the deceased employees, money due an employee at the time of the employee's death shall be paid to the person or persons surviving at the date of death, in the following order of precedence, and the payment bars recovery by another person of amounts so paid:

(a) First, to the beneficiary or beneficiaries designated by the employee in a writing received in the employing agency prior to the employee's death;

(b) Second, if there is no designated beneficiary, to the surviving spouse of the employee;

(c) Third, if none of the above, to the child or children of the employee and descendants of deceased children by representation;

(d) Fourth, if none of the above, to the parents of the deceased employee or the survivor of them;

(e) Fifth, if none of the above, to the duly appointed legal representative of the estate of the deceased employee; and

(f) Sixth, if none of the above, to the person or persons entitled under the laws of the domicile of the employee at the time of his or her death.

§178.205   Procedures upon death of employee.

(a) Claim form. As soon as practicable after the death of an employee, the agency in which the employee was last employed will request, in the order of precedence outlined in §178.204, the appropriate person or persons to execute Standard Form 1153, Claim for Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Civilian Employee.

(b) Claims involving minors or incompetents. If a guardian or committee has been appointed for a minor or incompetent appearing entitled to unpaid compensation, the claim should be supported by a certificate of the court showing the appointment and qualification of the claimant in such capacity. If no guardian or committee has been or will be appointed, the initial claim should be supported by a statement showing:

(1) Claimant's relationship to the minor or incompetent, if any;

(2) The name and address of the person having care and custody of the minor or incompetent;

(3) That any moneys received will be applied to the use and benefit of the minor or incompetent; and

(4) That the appointment of a guardian or committee is not contemplated.

§178.206   Return of unnegotiated Government checks.

All unnegotiated United States Government checks drawn to the order of a decedent representing money due as defined in §178.202, and in the possession of the claimant, should be returned to the employing agency concerned. Claimants should be instructed to return any other United States Government checks drawn to the order of a decedent, such as veterans benefits, social security benefits, or Federal tax refunds, to the agency from which the checks were received, with a request for further instructions from that agency.

§178.207   Claims settlement jurisdiction.

(a) District of Columbia and Government corporations. Claims for unpaid compensation due deceased employees of the government of the District of Columbia shall be paid by the District of Columbia, and those of Government corporations or mixed ownership Government corporations may be paid by the corporations.

(b) Office of Personnel Management. Each agency shall pay undisputed claims for the compensation due a deceased employee. Except as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, disputed claims for money due deceased employees of the Federal Government will be submitted to the Office of Merit Systems Oversight and Effectiveness, in accordance with §178.102 of subpart A. For example:

(1) When doubt exists as to the amount or validity of the claim;

(2) When doubt exists as to the person(s) properly entitled to payment; or

(3) When the claim involves uncurrent checks. Uncurrent checks are unnegotiated and/or undelivered checks for money due the decedent which have not been paid by the end of the fiscal year after the fiscal year in which the checks were issued. The checks, if available, should accompany the claims.

(c) Payment of claim. Claims for money due will be paid by the appropriate agency only after settlement by the Office of Merit Systems Oversight and Effectiveness occurs.

[62 FR 68139, Dec. 31, 1997, as amended at 65 FR 40967, July 3, 2000]

§178.208   Applicability of general procedures.

When not in conflict with this subpart, the provisions of subpart A of this part relating to procedures applicable to claims generally are also applicable to the settlement of account of deceased civilian officers and employees.



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