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RestorationDropped for loss of title on testimony taken by a special examiner showing that the disability or cause of death on account of which pension was allowed did not originate in line of duty, and in cases of dependent relatives whose names were dropped, on like testimony, upon the ground of nondependence (Act July 4, 1884), in claims under all general laws (except Act June 27, 1890, Act April 19, 1908, and such acts as do not provide for payment of a fee)
On properly executed articles of agreement, any amount contracted for not exceeding
Without articles of agreement
Under Act June 27, 1890
Under Act April 19, 1908 ...
Where dropped under section 4719, R. S. (4 P. D. 405)
Mexican War, January 5, 1893, and amendatory acts in which fee
2 (59) Not payable on order of Commissioner of Pensions, but a matter of contract between claimant and attorney, subjecting the latter to disciplinary proceedings in the event of extortion or unreasonableness.
Reimbursement and accrued pensions, act March 2, 1895, due deceased pen
Attorney may collect 10 per cent. of accrued pension paid, but fee must not exceed ...
Divided pensions, Act March 3, 1899 (10 P. D. 403). Attorney may collect reasonable fee, and in absence of abuse or misconduct on his part, justifying disbarment, Commissioner of Pensions has no authority.
(60) Cases wherein fees are denied:
Act July 4, 1884, arrears of pension allowed by Congress subsequent to original grant ...
Act March 19, 1886, increasing rates of pension to certain widows No fee. Act Aug. 5, 1892, granting pensions to Army nurses.
... No fee.
Act March 3, 1901, and Act Feb. 28, 1903, amending section 4708,
Mexican and Civil Wars ..
Act May 28, 1908, for services in introducing or securing the pas-
By departmental construction or regulations
Increase of pension by operation of law.
Claim filed by state agent or commissioner (7 P. D. 293)
Wherein power of attorney only is filed (4 P. D. 356; 7 P. D. 517) No fee. Wherein no service is rendered (7 P. D. 517)
Wherein attorney transmits only order for medical examination or
Where no fund accrues by reason of allowance out of which fee could be paid (8 P. D. 139; 11 P. D. 149)
Reissue to include new disability, if no increase (8 P. D. 139) Rerating or reissue to correct rate or date of commencement, if same attorney as in original claim (7 P. D. 359; 13 P. D. 75).... No fee. Securing new or duplicate pension certificate (8 P. D. 261)....... No fee. Supplemental claims allowing pension
For child by former marriage if claim be filed by original attorney (7 P. D. 47; 16 P. D. 546) .
For helpless child if child named as helpless in original declaration,
By order of May 26, 1891, attorneys may receive from and after April 22, 1891, for postage in any one claim.....
(62) Attorneys or agents shall not use or permit any of their employees to act as identifying or attesting witnesses to any application, affidavit, power of attorney, fee agreement, or other paper filed in the prosecution of a claim for pension or bounty land warrant.
(63) Attorneys or agents shall not contract for, demand, or receive, directly or indirectly, any compensation whatsoever for advice or consultation concerning the pension and bounty land laws, except such compensation as may be lawfully paid by order of the Commissioner of Pensions, whether a claim has been or is thereafter filed for the person in whose behalf such advice or consultation is had. Any attorney or agent who shall violate the provisions of this or the preceding section shall be held thereafter incompetent to prosecute claims before the Bureau of Pensions within the meaning of section 5 of the Act of July 4, 1884, and shall thereby subject himself to suspension or disbarment to practice before said bureau.
Declarations and Evidence.
(64) The authority given to fourth-class postmasters and rural free delivery carriers to administer oaths to pensioners and their witnesses in the execution of their vouchers does not apply to the execution of any other paper.
(65) All declarations and affidavits must be executed before some officer duly authorized to administer oaths for general purposes, in accordance with the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July 26, 1892.
An affidavit in support of a claim for pension, or other purpose in the Pension Bureau, must be duly subscribed by the party making the same, and sworn to before some officer authorized to administer oaths for general purposes.
(66) Blank forms of declarations shall be furnished to claimants upon application therefor. They shall not be furnished to agents or attorneys, but sample forms shall be sent on request.
(67) A claimant under any law may prosecute his claim in person, or by attorney under certain laws, and his claim shall receive the same consideration by the Bureau of Pensions if prosecuted in person as if by attorney.
Witnesses and Testimony.
(68) A declaration executed before an officer who is claimant's attorney is accepted by the Bureau of Pensions as good and valid, but under the practice such magisterial act vacates any rights which may be conferred on him in the power of attorney therein embodied.
(69) Evidence executed before an officer who is claimant's attorney or before any person who has a manifest interest therein shall not be considered. It is held by the Secretary of the Interior, however, that evidence so executed, wherein the certificate of such officer contains a clause setting forth that "he is in no wise interested in the claim nor concerned in its prosecution" is good. and valid, but the rights such officer may have had as attorney in the case are thereby abandoned. All certificates of executing officers should certify that they have no interest in the claim.
(70) Every fact required to be proved should be shown by the best evidence obtainable. Every witness should state whether he has any interest, direct or indirect, in the prosecution of the claim in which he may testify; whether he is related to the claimant, and if so, how; and should give his post office address, with street and number, or rural free delivery route, if any.
(71) Witnesses should not merely confirm the statements of other parties, but should give a detailed statement of the facts known to them in regard to the matter concerning which they testify, and should state how they obtained a knowledge of such facts. The officer taking the deposition or affidavit should certify in his own handwriting as to his knowledge of the credibility of the witnesses. If they sign by mark, the signature must be attested by two witnesses who write, and the officer must certify that the contents of their depositions or affidavits were read to them before he administered the oath.
(72). Affidavits should be free from interlineations and erasures. When an alteration is made in an affidavit, or an addition is made thereto, it must appear by the certificate of the officer who administered the oath that such alteration. or addition was made with the knowledge and sworn consent of the affiant.
(73) In all affidavits from surgeons or physicians the portion detailing the nature of the disability, dates of treatment, and date of death, symptoms and opinions as to connection between diseases or injury and disease should be in
the handwriting of the party by whom it is signed. The testimony of any person testifying as an expert should be prepared by some one professionally competent to do so.
(74) The official certificates of judicial officers using a seal or of commissioned officers of the Army or Navy in actual service shall be accepted without being sworn to, but all other witnesses must testify under oath.
Addresses of Pensioners or Claimants for Pension.
(75) (a) Pensioners and claimants for pension desiring their mail sent to cities or towns with a population of 5,000 or more having free mail delivery must give their post office addresses, their street and number, number of post office box, rural free delivery route, or "general delivery," as the case may be. "General delivery" addresses shall be accepted only in case it be shown that no other address such as above specified is available.
(b) Addresses in care of another person shall not be accepted for the transmission of pension certificates or anything of value, or which might be appropriated or wrongfully used by another person, nor shall any communication be mailed to a claimant for pension or increase at a street and number, or post office box address which is the same as that of the attorney prosecuting the claim.
(76) Where it is shown that a pensioner or claimant has resided for a number of years at the address given in his application, or has more recently answered communications addressed to him in which street number, post office box, or rural free delivery route was not used, it may be assumed that another address is not available.
(77) Every guardian, or other person receiving pension in a fiduciary capacity, must biennially file in the bureau a certificate of the court to which such fiduciary is accountable, showing that he has accounted to the court, as required by law, and that the account has been approved or that the requirement for accounting has been waived by the court, if such is the fact. Blank form of certificate shall be furnished each guardian or committee and must be used by him. In case of failure to file such certificate, payment on the voucher with which it is required, and all subsequent payments, shall be withheld pending the receipt thereof.
Inspection of Papers.
(78) The examination of papers relating to claims for pension or bounty land, by attorneys, counsel, or agents, shall not extend to reports from the governmental departments and bureaus, confidential communications, or reports of special examiners relating to criminal charges and investigations.
(79) (a) The Act of July 18, 1894,20 which permits the examination and inspection of reports of examining surgeons by the claimant or his attorney, under such reasonable rules and regulations as the Secretary of the Interior may provide, must be complied with in such manner as will afford all proper infor
20 Act July 18, 1894 (28 Stat. 113).
mation to claimants and their attorneys in all pending claims, and at the same time interfere as little as may be with the work of the bureau.
(b) No one but the claimant in person and his recognized attorney in the claim, or said attorney's subagent, including the confidential clerk (duly accredited) of each, shall be permitted to examine the reports of examining surgeons filed in the claim, and such examination shall be made subject to the rules of the Pension Bureau in respect to the calling up and examination of cases by attorneys.
(c) Said act of Congress does not permit the copying of such reports or any portion thereof. No person shall be permitted to take copies or make memoranda from such reports.
(80) No examination of reports of examining surgeons shall be permitted in admitted cases wherein there is no claim pending.
(81) No examination of such reports shall be permitted in rejected cases, after the lapse of three months from the date of rejection, until the claim has been regularly reopened according to the practice of the bureau, or unless an appeal from the decision is pending.
(82) No one except the clerk in charge will be permitted to examine any certificate of disability for discharge, report of medical survey, or certificate of death in the Navy before the same shall have been applied to a pending claim, except upon the order of the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, or Chief Clerk, or upon the written request of the Chief of the Law Division or the Chief of the Special Examination Division.
Return of Papers.
(83) Certificates of discharge, marriage certificates, family records, personal letters, diaries, bills and receipts, and other personal papers or articles. which may have been filed in claims for pension, may, in the discretion of the Commissioner, be returned through the law division upon request of the persons entitled thereto, and whenever papers so returned constitute part of the material and essential evidence in a claim, photostats or other copies of the same, or of so much thereof as may appear to possess evidential value, shall be placed in the case.
(84) The mailing of a pension check in payment of pension due, issued on voucher, constitutes payment in the event of the death of the pensioner subsequent to the execution of the voucher therefor.
(85) (a) In nonvoucher cases the proper delivery of a pension check during the lifetime of the pensioner constitutes payment in the event of the death of the pensioner prior to indorsement thereof. In such cases the checks become a part of the assets of the estate of the deceased pensioner.
(b) All inquiries relative to the payment of such checks should be addressed to the General Accounting Office Interior Department Division.
(86) Applications for certificate of service in lieu of lost discharge should be filed with the Adjutant General, United States Army, War Department, in