"IN THE CASE OF"
PROCEEDINGS IN THE CASE OF: BOARD DATE: 5 December 2000 DOCKET NUMBER: AR2000035225 I certify that hereinafter is recorded the true and complete record of the proceedings of the Army Board for Correction of Military Records in the case of the above-named individual. Mr. Carl W. S. Chun Director Mrs. Nancy Amos Analyst The following members, a quorum, were present: Ms. Ann M. Campbell Chairperson Mr. Allen L. Raub Member Mr. Jose A. Martinez Member The applicant and counsel if any, did not appear before the Board. The Board considered the following evidence: Exhibit A - Application for correction of military records Exhibit B - Military Personnel Records (including advisory opinion, if any) FINDINGS: 1. The applicant has exhausted or the Board has waived the requirement for exhaustion of all administrative remedies afforded by existing law or regulations. ABCMR Proceedings (cont) AR2000035225 2. The applicant requests reconsideration of the prior Board action and rescission of its favorable decision of 14 July 1999 changing his spouse Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) coverage to former spouse coverage. 3. The applicant states that he did not understand the costs that would be incurred by changing his SBP coverage. 4. The applicant’s military records show that he retired on 1 July 1977 and at that time elected SBP spouse and children coverage. He divorced on 1 July 1980. Apparently as a result of erroneous information, he did not notify the Finance Center of his divorce and he continued to pay spouse costs (as it was his intention to voluntarily provide such coverage). The error was discovered in July 1997 when the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) received a copy of his divorce decree and suspended his SBP coverage. In March 1999, he requested that his SBP be changed to show he elected SBP former spouse coverage. The Board approved that request on 14 July 1999, docket number AR1999023941. 5. Subsequent to approving his initial request for a change to his SBP election, DFAS calculated his SBP debt and determined he would owe over $31,000. 6. The applicant has stated that at the time he made the request, he was under the assumption that the deduction for the reinstatement of former spouse SBP coverage would be the same as the original SBP cost being collected in 1997 and prior years. Had he been approached earlier about the substantial increase in the cost coverage, he would have declined the coverage at that time due to financial circumstances. He is currently fully retired, over age 65, and his wife is undergoing extensive cancer treatment. CONCLUSIONS: 1. The applicant could have had his revised SBP coverage costs recalculated by a Retirement Services Officer near him prior to making his original application to the Board, but it appears that he did make a reasonable assumption that spouse costs and former spouse costs would have remained the same. Since then the financial impact of his decision has caused him to ask that the favorable decision in his case be rescinded. 2. Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is the general policy of the Board not to cause an applicant to be worse off than he or she would have been had the Board not acted in the case. Therefore, as a matter of equity, it would be appropriate to rescind the Board’s previous approval in this case and place the applicant in the same status he was in before he applied to the Board in March 1999. 3. In view of the foregoing, the applicant’s records should be corrected as recommended below. 2 ABCMR Proceedings (cont) AR2000035225 RECOMMENDATION: That all of the Department of the Army records related to this case be corrected by: a. rescinding the ABCMR Proceedings dated 14 July 1999 concerning the applicant; and b. terminating any effort to recoup SBP costs from the applicant and returning any monies already recovered from him resulting from the ABCMR Proceedings dated 14 July 1999. BOARD VOTE: __amc___ __alr___ __jam___ GRANT AS STATED IN RECOMMENDATION ________ ________ ________ GRANT FORMAL HEARING ________ ________ ________ DENY APPLICATION Ann M. Campbell ______________________ CHAIRPERSON 3 ABCMR Proceedings (cont) AR2000035225 INDEX CASE ID AR2000035225 SUFFIX RECON DATE BOARDED 20001205 TYPE OF DISCHARGE DATE OF DISCHARGE DISCHARGE AUTHORITY DISCHARGE REASON BOARD DECISION (GRANT) REVIEW AUTHORITY ISSUES 1. 137.00 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 4