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(a) Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
(m) Price List No. 24 of Government publications on "Indians," for sale by the Superintendent of Documents. 6. Citizenship of Indians
All Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States are citizens by virtue of the Act of June 2, 1924.12 Prior to that legislation, the question of citizenship was "as a general rule an individual one, to determine which the facts in each particular case must be considered.” 13
12 43 Stat. 253.
BUREAU OF PENSIONS 1. Mission
The Commissioner of Pensions supervises the examination and adjudication of all claims arising under laws passed by Congress granting pensions on account of service in the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps rendered prior to April 6, 1917, or after July 2, 1921; claims for reimbursement for the expenses of the last sickness and burial of deceased pensioners; claims for bounty land warrants based upon military, naval, or Marine Corps service rendered prior to March 3, 1855; and claims for annuities, refunds, and allowances arising under the Act of May 22, 1920, providing for the retirement of employees in the classified civil service. 1
Service pensions are for persons who served in the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps, without reference to disability incurred or disease contracted in such service. Service pensions are being paid on account of service in the War of 1812, the War with Mexico, certain Indian Wars, the Civil War, the War with Spain, the Philippine Insurrections, and the China Relief Expedition.
Although "bounty land warrants," first issued for service in the Revolutionary War, were last authorized for service rendered previous to March 3, 1855, such cases still occasionally arise.
The Act of October 6, 1917, as amended, was designed to abolish the pension system for future military service, and to substitute therefor the “Compensation System”; but the pension system was restored by the Acts of August 9, 1921,3 September 22, 1922,4 and June 7, 1924,5 and by the latter act the general pension laws are applicable to disabilities incurred in the service prior to April 6, 1917, and after July 2, 1921.
2. Activities–Military and Naval Pensions
The military and naval pension claims coming under the Bureau Administration are for original pensions, reissue of pensions, or for increased pensions; for divisions of pensions where payment is made through more than one party under the Act of March 3, 1899;6 for accrued pensions, reimbursements for funeral expenses on account of deceased claimants; for "bounty land warrants”; and pensions to Medal of Honor men. The bureau examines claims to determine their validity and the pensionable status of the claimant. The adjudication of claims involves a determination of questions of law and fact, even requiring taking of testimony in the field, the searching of departmental records, and, in case of claims for invalid pensions, medical examinations are made by physicians selected by the bureau which determines the pension, the rate, where pensions are allowed, and issues pension certificates. But the bureau does not adjudicate pensions granted under special acts of Congress, nor those granted to Medal of Honor men, although it keeps the record thereof and makes payments thereon.
141 Stat. 614.
2 40 Stat. 398, 408, amended by Act June 25, 1918 (40 Stat. 609, 613). See Act Dec. 24, 1919 (41 Stat. 371, 372).
3 42 Stat. 154, 155.
While the Commissioner of Pensions suspends payments of pensions under special act whenever he has satisfactory evidence that frauds were perpetrated in obtaining such enactment," the bureau is also charged with the duty of recording to Congress cases of pension claims which cannot be allowed under existing pension acts, although meritorjous.
The Bureau of Pensions supplies application forms, upon which service men, army nurses, widows, minors, and dependents of service men submit pension claims:
(1) On account of disability or death in the regular establishment to April 6, 1917, and after July 2, 1921.
(2) On account of disability, death, or service in the War of 1812, War with Mexico,8 certain Indian Wars, the Civil War, the War with Spain, the Philippine Insurrection, and the China Relief Expedition,
3. Activities-Civil Service Retirement Act
The act relating to retirement of civil service employees and its amendments provides for the retirement of employees in the classified civil service of the United States, including superintendents of national cemeteries, employees of the Architect of the Capitol, the Library of Congress, and the National Botanic Garden, excepting persons appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. It also applies to some charwomen, laborers, and other employees, whether classified or unclassified, all regular annual employees of the municipal government of the District of Columbia, appointed directly by the commissioners or by other competent authority, including per diem employees whose services are continuous and public school employees, except school officers and teachers, but not including members of the police and fire departments. Postmasters and Lighthouse Service employees are not included.
The term “all employees in the classified civil service” includes "all persons who have been heretofore or who may hereafter be given competitive status in classified civil service with or without competitive examination, by legislative enactment, or under the civil service rules promulgated by the President or by executive orders covering groups of employees with their positions into the competitive classified service or authorizing the appointment of individuals to positions within such service." 9
The President may, by Executive Order, upon recommendation of the Civil Service Commission, include any employees or group of employees in the civil service of the United States not classified at the time of the passage of the act, and exclude any employees or group of employees of the classified civil service whose tenure of employment is intermittent or of uncertain duration.
7 Act July 25, 1882 (22 Stat. 174).
9 Act May 22, 1920 (41 Stat. 614); Act Feb. 14, 1922 (42 Stat. 364 (Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, 88 3287420, 328712P, 32871291); Act March 27, 1922 (42 Stat. 470 (Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, § 32874aaa]); Act June 17, 1922 (42 Stat. 651); Act Sept. 22, 1922 (42 Stat. 1047 (Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, 88 328743-328742 vv]).
Persons totally disabled in the service may be retired after fifteen years' service. Railway postal clerks at 62 years, post office clerks at 65, city and rural letter carriers at 65, and other employees at 70 years, having rendered at least 15 years' service, continuous or otherwise, are eligible for retirement. Those who have served at least 15 years, and become totally disabled by reason of disease or injury not due to vicious habits, intemperance, or willful misconduct, may be retired under certain conditions. Special provision is made for the retirement of persons 55 years of age or over to whom the Act of May 22, 1920, applies, who shall have served for a total period of not less than 15 years and before reaching the retirement age shall become involuntarily separated from the service before reaching retirement age 10
. Length of service includes all periods of service at different times in different branches of the government, including Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, if a pension has not been granted for such service.
The receipt of an annuity on account of civil service retirement does not affect in any manner the right to the pension, or to compensation under the War Risk Insurance Act. However, no one may receive an annuity and compensation under the Employees' Compensation Act for the same period of time.
Forms of applications are furnished by the Bureau of Pensions to persons who have arrived at the age of retirement, and seek to retire on account of disability, and make formal application. Each application inust be supported by a certificate from the head of the department, branch, or independent office in which the applicant has been employed, stating the age and periods of service of the applicants, and pay received during such periods.
Claims are also received from employees for refunds of deductions from pay on account of separations from the service or transfers to unclassified positions; claims by legal representatives on account of death of employees before reaching the retirement age or establishing valid claims for annuities; and claims from legal representatives and annuitants who died leaving unpaid balances of annuities.
4. The Veteran Pensioner-General Law
Any officer or enlisted or appointed man of the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States, disabled by a wound, injury, or disease, incurred in line of duty since March 4, 1861, but prior to April 6, 1917, or after July 2, 1921, may be entitled to a pension on account thereof under the provisions of sections 4692 and 4693, Revised Statutes. Rates range from $6 to $100 per month, according to the disability established. Except in claims of insane persons, pension commences from date of filing of declaration. (Blank No. 3-001.)
All communications relative to claims wherein disability or death cause was incurred between April 6, 1917 and July 2, 1921, should be addressed to the United States Veterans' Bureau, Washington, D. C.
10 Act Sept. 22, 1922 (42 Stat. 1047, 1048 (Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, § 328742 uu]).