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The Bayonet, 10 May 1918

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THE BAYONET: CAMP LEE, VA., FRIDAY, MAY 10, 1918 Five by means of allotment or the government by means of allowance. 28-Q. Must the soldier make allotment and the government make the allowance, if claimed, in all cases where he has a divorced wife to whom alimony has been decreed or ordered to be paid? A. No. Any allotment made by the solider to a divorced wife in payment of alimony is at all times subject to the prior claims for allotment and allowance of his present wife, his present wife's children, his illegitimate children, his adopted children and his children by his divorced wife, if any there be. If the soldier has a present legal wife, or a common-law wife, allotment must first be made to her and her allowance from the government claimed. If he also has children, of any of the kinds just mentioned, proper allotments and allowance must be made for them along with his wife. If the total amount of the allowances claimed for his present wife and such children is less than $50 monthly, the government will pay that difference, or such portion of it as equals the amount of alimony due such divorced wife. Such portion of the alimony as is in excess to or greater than the difference will not be paid by the government, and need not be paid by the soldier by means of additional compulsory or voluntary allotments. 29-Q. Must the soldier make any allotment for a wife from whom he has been legally divorced, but to whom he has not been ordered by a court to contribute alimony? A. No. No such a divorced wife is no longer his wife, and does not, therefore, fall within the permitted classes of dependants. 30-Q. If a soldier has children by his present wife and children by a former wife, now dead, or a former divorced wife still living, what is his duty with reference to making allotments to them and claiming government allowances for them? A. Under the law, there is absolutely no distinction between such children with reference to the right to receive government allowances. In this connection it should be understood that there is no distinction whatever between any of the children included in Class "A" dependants, so far as their right to receive and share equally in government allowances claimed relates to them. Thus, if a soldier had a present wife, a former wife, now dead, and a former wife divorced, but still living, and had one child living by each of such wives, the government allowance for such children, after proper allotment had been made, as already explained, to secure and claim it, would be $22.50, and that allowance would be equally divided between them, each receiving $7.50 monthly. In the case of the child of his present wife, her child's allowance would be paid to his present wife, if the child was under eighteen years of age, or, if over that age, it was incapable of properly supporting itself by reason of insanity or physical helplessness. In the case of the child of the wife now dead, its share would be paid to its legal guardian, which would probably be the soldier's present wife, or some near relative either of the soldier or the soldier's dead wife. In the case of the child of the divorced wife still living, its share would be paid to its legal guardian as determined by the court at the time of granting the divorce. 31-Q. Will sums due a child under the allotments and allowance provisions of this law be paid by the government direct to such child if it is not legally of age? A. No money will be paid by the government under this law to any minor child. The money will be paid to its legal guardian or the person legally charged with its care and support. In most instances, this will be the child's mothers, or if the child has no mother, its grandparent, or some other near relative who has been given charge of it. When a child is helpless by reason of insanity, feeblemindedness or through physical disabilities, the same ruling applies, and no money will be paid direct to it, but will be paid to such person who is properly and legally charged with its care and the administration of its affairs. In making allotments to children so situated, the soldier should always bear this point in mind and designate the person or persons who are entitled to receive such contributions for the child. 32-Q. Are there any restrictions or limitations with reference to the age of a child which will prevent its receiving an allowance from the government? A. Yes. Only children under eighteen years of age are primarily entitled to receive allowance from the government. The government, however, will pay allowance to such children older than eighteen, irrespective of their age, if they are dependant upon their father, the soldier, for care, protection and support, by reason of insanity, feeble-mindedness or due to physical disability amounting to helplessness. 33-Q. Are there any cases where a soldier has dependants in Class "A" where he can be relieved from the necessity of making allotments for such dependants? A. Yes. He can be relieved of this obligation in the following cases: First-Where his wife is not dependant upon him, for the support of herself and her children, and files an affidavit with the bureau to that effect, giving substantial proof of the fact that she is able and willing to support herself and her children, and that she does not desire either the soldier's allotment or the government allowance for herself or her children. Second-Where a wife has been divorced and the soldier has children by her, of whom she has been given charge by the court at the time of granting the divorce, if such divorced wife files with the bureau an affidavit to the effect that neither she nor her children are dependant upon the solider and do not wish either the soldier's allotment or the government allowance. Such statement, however, must contain substantial proof of her ability to support the child. Third-Where a wife has deserted the soldier without just cause and through no fault of his. In this case it will be necessary for the solider to claim exemption from such allotment on the face of this allotment blank and to file with the bureau a sworn statement or affidavit setting forth the facts of the desertion and asking to be relieved from the necessity of making such allotment. This sworn statement of the soldier must be supported by the sworn statement of two or more other persons, whenever possible, corroborating the truth of the facts set forth in connection with such claim for exemption. Fourth-Where the soldier's wife at or before the time for making such allotment is guilty of misconduct, or in other words, such conduct as would practically entitle the soldier to a divorce. In such a case the soldier must make claim for the exemption at the time of filling out his allotment and allowance blank and note that claim on such blank. As in case 3, just mentioned, he must then file with the bureau a proper sworn statement, together with the sworn statements of two or more witnesses, setting forth such facts and the grounds upon which he asks to be relieved from making such compulsory allotments? Fifth-Where it has come to the soldier's knowledge that, after allotment has been made and allowance granted to his wife, she has been guilty of improper conduct. The procedure in this case is practically identical with that of case 4. Of course, no notation of such claim can be made on his allotment and allowance blank, but a properly sworn statement by the soldier, accompanied by supporting sworn statements of two or more competent witnesses, will be filed with the Bureau of War Risk Insurance at Washington, setting forth such state of facts and stating the ground upon which the exemption is claimed 34-Q To whom does the solider make such claim for exemption from allotments to Class "A" dependants? A. The soldier makes such claim to the director, Bureau of War Risk Insurance, Washington, D.C., through his company or organization commander, by whom it is transmitted to the director of the bureau at Washington. 35-Q. When the soldier has made such claim for exemption from allotments to Class "A" dependents upon his application blank, and has forwarded all proper sworn statements concerning such claim to the director at Washington, is he immediately relieved of the obligation to make such compulsory monthly allotments to such Class "A" dependants? A. No. The soldier must continue to make the proper allotments form month to month until his claim has been fully investigated by the bureau and a decision relieving him from the duty of making such allotments has been rendered and received by his commander. If the decision is in his favor, all money deducted from his pay for such allotments will be refunded him. Pending the investigation and decision regarding such claim for exemption, no money received from the soldier by such compulsory allotments, nor no allowances payable by the government to such dependants will be paid. All such sums will be held on deposit by the bureau until the decision on the claim has been rendered. As explained, if favorable to the soldier, his allotments will be paid. All such sums will be held on deposit by the bureau until the decision on the claim has been rendered. As explained, if favorable to the soldier, his allotments will be returned; if against him, his allotments and the proper government allowances will be forwarded to such Class "A" dependants, and the soldier will be compelled to continue to make such compulsory allotments in their behalf as long as he remains in the service, or until such time as he is properly excused therefrom by the bureau, or where he is relieved of such allotment by the death of such dependants. 36-Q. How does the soldier make application for the government allowances, and how does he make the proper allotments to secure them? A. When a soldier enters the service and before he is assigned to a company he is mustered in and questioned as to the number and class of his dependents. Shortly after he is assigned to his company, or organization, his company commander, or organization commander, as the case may be, causes the allotments and allowances to be fully explained to him and again questions him as to the number and class of his dependents. When the soldier has Class "A" dependents the proper monthly allotment to secure the government allowance is determined, and he is compelled to make such compulsory allotments, whether he wishes to or not. If he has Class "B" dependents and no Class "A" dependants to whom he wishes to make a voluntary allotment, his commanding officer assists him in determining the proper allotments to make to secure them. If he has both Class "A" dependents and Class "B" dependents to whom he desires to secure the government allowance, the proper amounts of allotments are determined for him and made by his company commander. Any and all such allotments, when they have been properly made, are deducted from his pay each month by his commanding officer. 37-Q. Has the Bureau of War Risk Insurance prepared a form of application to be used in making these allotments to secure allowances? A. All of these allotments are made and the government allowances claimed by the soldier, with the assistance of his commanding officer, by filling out and signing in duplicate what is known as "Form 1-B." 38-Q. Must this Form 1-B be filled out by every soldier, whether he has dependents or not? A. Form 1-B must be filled out by every soldier, irrespective of whether he has any dependents in Class "A" and Class "B" or not. If he has Class "A" dependents, he must show al lof them on the form and make the proper allotments in their favor. This is compulsory. If he has Class "B" dependents, he must show such of them on the form for whom he wishes to make allotments and secure allowances. If he has only Class "B" dependents and does not wish to make allotments to them or claim allowances for them, he need not show them on the form, but should so state thereon in answer to the inquiry as to whether he desires to make such allotments and claim allowances for such dependents by writing in the word "None." Class "B" allotments are voluntary, and not compulsory, and whether he makes them or not rests with the soldier. 39-Q. Why should a soldier who does not wish to make allotments and who has no Class "A" dependents be required to fill out Form 1-B? A. Experience has shown that a certain percentage of any number of men will always try to escape their legal and moral obligations, and avoid, if possible, contributing to the proper support of their families and relatives dependent upon them. As has been previously explained, a soldier is compelled under the law to provide for his Class "A" dependents. He has no choice whatever about the matter. If he disregards the law through ignorance or intent, he is subject to a heavy fine, and is also subject to a long term of imprisonment. That is one of the reasons why his commanding officer is required to fully explain all the features of his financial and moral obligations under this law, and to see to it that the soldier makes the proper allotments and claims the proper government allowances for his dependents. These forms 1-B, however, perform another service than merely to indicate the amount and nature of the soldier's allotments and allowances claimed. THey take the place of a formal statement on the part of the soldier as to whether or not he has dependents, and are kept as a permanent record. From another standpoint, considered as a permanent record, Form 1-B shows conclusively that the matter has been at least brought to the soldier's attention and that he has been given an opportunity to discharge his proper obligations and protect his dependents under the provisions of the law. If it later develops that the soldier has willfully concealed the fact that he has Class "A" dependents, for instance, this form is used against him in his trial. Another reason is, that whether or not the soldier makes allotments and claims allowances, an investigation is always made sooner or later as to the nature and degree of dependency of the soldier's Class "A" and Class "B" dependents, and Form 1-B is used as a check to determine whether or not the soldier has tried to secure allowances for such dependents which are not deserved or permitted under the law, or is trying to avoid making proper allotments to secure allowances which are deserved by neglecting to make a proper and full disclosure regarding his dependents. In any event, should the soldier be brought to trial, Form 1-B is used against him as an official record. 40-Q. How does the government determine whether a soldier is trying to defraud it either by attempting to lie out of his obligations or by attempting to secure allowances for those not properly and legally entitled to them? A. The government cannot always determine this at the time the soldier fills out his application, but leaves it then to the truthfulness and honesty of the soldier. However, in almost every case where the soldier has attempted to take advantage of the government through one source or another, the fact becomes known to the government. In all such cases, and, in particular, such cases where there are evident and apparent discrepancies between the statements of the soldier as shown on form 1-B, and the nature and degree and number of his dependents as indicated by other records in possession of the government, an investigation is always started, and continues until all the true facts concerning the matter has been disclosed and absolutely determined. Such investigations are so thorough and complete that a soldier has practically no chance whatever or escaping detection. Should the deceit of the soldier, as a result of such investigation, be thoroughly established, the punishment therefor follows swift and surely. Every intelligent soldier will, therefore, appreciate the foolishness and futility of endeavoring either to deceive the government or to evade his just and proper responsibilities to his dependents. It will also, therefore, be apparent to the intelligent soldier that his best course to pursue is at all times to meet the government in a spirit of truth and fairness. Finally, when the soldier becomes thoroughly familiar with the many provisions of the law, all operating for his benefit and that of his dependents, he will then appreciate that the government is bearing by far the greater part of his burden, and that, in the last analysis, the keynote of the whole law is duty, responsibility and honesty of purpose, both on the part of the soldier and of the government. 41-Q. If, after the soldier has made proper allotments and claim the allowances provided by the law, he either acquires new dependents or some of the dependents he has named in his application, form 1-B, have died or changed the place of residence, what should he do in such cases? A. He should immediately inform his commanding officer of the occurrence of any of the above circumstances. His commanding officer will then require him to fill out an entirely new application, form 1-B, making all the proper changes, both as regards to changes of dependents either by birth or death, or any other reason, or with reference to changes of their residences and addresses. This is a supplemental application, and all such changes will be indicated clearly thereon by writing after or through them in red ink the word "Change." The new application is then forwarded by the soldier through his commanding officer to the Bureau of War Risk Insurance at Washington, D.C., and, upon receipt by the bureau, it supersedes and takes the place of his original form 1-B. Section V. INSURANCE. The Future Financial Obligations of a Soldier Toward His Dependents and Himself, and the Government Obligations Toward Both. BY CAPT. C. M. JONES, A. G.D., N. A. Q. and A. 1. Reasons for adoption of this self-supporting method of providing for the future as against pension system, etc., and reasons why soldier should buy the full amount of government insurance . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 1-9 2. Method of applying for insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11-13. 3. Payment of death or disability claims . . . . . . . . . . . 15-18 4. Allowable beneficiaries . . . . 19-25; 14 5. Line of duty . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 6. Retirement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27