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REPORT

OF

THE COMMISSIONER OF PENSIONS.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

BUREAU OF PENSIONS,

Washington, D. C., August 25, 1899. SIR: I have the honor to submit for your consideration the following facts and figures, being a report of the operations of the Bureau of Pensions for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1899, viz:

TABLE No. 1

shows the number of pensions allowed on original applications 37,077, number restored 3,914. Total new names added 40,991, and the number dropped 43,186, showing a decrease of 2,195 pensioners on the rolls as compared with the close of the fiscal year 1898.

This table also shows that the annual value of the roll at the close of the year was $131,617,961, while at the close of the year 1898 it was $130,968,465, or an increase of (as an annual value) $649,496.

It will be noted that there was a slight increase in the average annual value of all pensions, viz: From $131.79 to $132.74, the rate under the general laws having increased from $163.21 to $165.70, and those under the act of 1890 from $108.11 to $108.99, while the average annual value of the pensions granted under the war with Spain amounts to $196.53; this is explained by the fact that only about 300 pensions on account of this war have been issued, they being for widows and gunshot wounds, the minor disabilities having not as yet been considered.

The number of pensioners on the rolls June 30, 1898, was 993,714, and on June 30, 1899, 991,519. Decrease in numbers, 2,195.

Thus while the roll decreased in numbers during the year, it increased in annual value $649,496, occasioned by increased ratings for increased disabilities.

The probabilities are that the roll will not only increase in amount but in numbers for the fiscal year 1900, by reason of the war with Spain.

TABLE No. 12

is a statement showing original claims filed during the year, by classes under different laws and the several wars, and corresponding showing of allowances for each year since 1861.

The footnote explains the claims filed as of account of war with Spain, and all these claims are considered in the total 48,765 claims filed.

For detailed account of claims filed, see Table No. 19 and explanation.

TABLE No. 13

is a statement showing the number of pensioners residing in each State and Territory, together with the total amount of pensions paid in each State and Territory; also number of pensioners living in foreign countries and the amount of money paid in each country during the year.

The number of pensioners living abroad is 4,306, and amount paid in pensions was $633,309.70. It is shown that there are 65 less pensioners abroad than at the close of the fiscal year 1898.

The summary on this table shows that there were paid out for pensions for the year $138,355,052.95.

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TABLE NO. 14 WITA 14A AND 14B

show by classes the number of pensioners under the general laws, and the number under each rating.

First, it will be observed (14) that there are 1,294 widows drawing only $8 per month under the general law; these married the soldier since March 19, 1886 (see act of March 19, 1886).

The 82,634 widows at $12 per month were entitled by reason of the marriage prior to March 19, 1886, and the soldier husband having died of a disability of service origin.

The 1,569 pensioned at $15 per month represent widows of officers who held the rank of second lieutenant; the 2,542 pensioned at $17 per month, rank of first lieutenant; the 2,820 at $20 per month, rank of captain; the 861 at $25 per month, rank of major, and the 877 at $30 per month, widows of officers holding the rank of lieutenant-colonel or of higher rank, this being the maximum rate that can be granted under existing laws. Those of irregular rates are granted under or by virtue of special acts of Congress.

It will be noted that there are 15,498 invalid pensioners at the rate of $30 per month, or total disability; this rate is also given for the loss of an arm below the elbow, a leg below the knee, total deafness, and for officers with rank of lieutenant-colonel, or higher rank — known as “ rank" pension.

The irregular rates in the Navy pensioners are occasioned by reason of the “Navy pension” being granted in addition to regular pension for disability.

TABLE No. 9

shows the number of each class of claims allowed and amounts of first payments, and the average of each first payment under the different laws. Also that at the close of the year there were in the hands of the disbursing agencies 7,153 certificates issued by this Bureau, on which the first payments will be $853,528.86.

Also amount of fees paid attorneys for the year, by deducting same from pension allowances, $476,969.61, as compared with the year 1898 of $730,019.36.

TABLE No. 10 is a classified statement of the number of pensioners on the rolls of each agency and showing increases and decreases by classes, viz:

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TABLE No. 11 shows the disbursements for pensions from 1866 to June 30, 1899, viz: Army

$2, 338, 559, 870.58 Navy

51, 351, 104.16 Total for pensions..

2,389, 910, 974. 74 For fees paid examining surgeons.

15,490, 986. 23 For expenses disbursing.

12, 092, 178. 63 For salaries in bureau

44, 442, 110. 75 For other expenses

7,795, 115. 67

Total

2, 469, 731, 366. 02

TABLE No. 12

is a statement showing original claims filed during the year, by classes under different laws and the several wars, and corresponding showing of allowances for each year since 1861.

The footnote explains the claims filed as of account of war with Spain, and all these claims are considered in the total 48,765 claims filed.

For detailed account of claims filed, see Table No. 19 and explanation.

TABLE No. 13

is a statement showing the number of pensioners residing in each State and Territory, together with the total amount of pensions paid in each State and Territory; also number of pensioners living in foreign countries and the amount of money paid in each country during the year.

The number of pensioners living abroad is 4,306, and amount paid in pensions was $633,309.70. It is shown that there are 65 less pen. sioners abroad than at the close of the fiscal year 1898.

The summary on this table shows that there were paid out for pensions for the year $138,355,052.95.

TABLE No. 14 WITH 14A AND 14B

show by classes the number of pensioners under the general laws, and the number under each rating.

First, it will be observed (14) that there are 1,294 widows drawing only $8 per month under the general law; these married the soldier since March 19, 1886 (see act of March 19, 1886).

The 82,634 widows at $12 per month were entitled by reason of the marriage prior to March 19, 1886, and the soldier husband having died of a disability of service origin.

The 1,569 pensioned at $15 per month represent widows of officers who held the rank of second lieutenant; the 2,542 pensioned at $17 per month, rank of first lieutenant; the 2,820 at $20 per month, rank of captain; the 861 at $25 per month, rank of major, and the 877 at $30 per month, widows of officers holding the rank of lieutenant-colonel or of higher rank, this being the maximum rate that can be granted under existing laws. Those of irregular rates are granted under or by virtue of special acts of Congress.

It will be noted that there are 15,498 invalid pensioners at the rate of $30 per month, or total disability; this rate is also given for the loss of an arm below the elbow, a leg below the knee, total deafness, and for officers with rank of lieutenant-colonel, or higher rank — known as " rank" pension.

The irregular rates in the Navy pensioners are occasioned by reason of the “ Navy pension” being granted in addition to regular pension for disability.

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