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THE COMMISSIONER OF PENSIONS.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
BUREAU OF PENSIONS,
Washington, D. O., 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.
The total number of pensioners, classified by wars and as pensioned under the several laws, compared with the years 1898 and 1897, are as follows:
Daughters.. War, 1812:
Widows. Indian wars:
Widows. Mexican war:
Also, there are pensioned, that do not show on the rolls as separate pensioners for the reason that they are paid on certificates with the widows (their mothers), 58,568 minors. At the close of the fiscal year 1898 there were 65,413, and for 1897 there were 65,869 minors.
It will be found on further classification that the pensioners on the rolls June 30, 1899, were divided as follows:
Army nurses, 653, are included in invalids under general laws.
Also, dependent parents and relatives are carried under the heading of " widows” in all tables under the respective laws.
It will be noted that during the year 32,148 straight increases were allowed as compared with 26,760 for the year 1898.
Also, that there are now 98,704 more invalids pensioned under the act of June 27, 1890, than under the general laws on account of the civil war (and the general laws cover all pensioned on account of the Regular Army and Navy for services rendered since the civil war), and that there are 37,376 correspondingly more widows pensioned under the act of June 27, 1890.
Your attention is invited to the fact that the annual value of the pension roll was greater on June 30, 1899, than it ever had been (see Table No. 28), being $649,496 more than it was on June 30, 1898, which was the largest up to that time. It will be noted that while the rolls contain the names of 2,195 less pensioners than the year preceding, the average annual value of each pension was greater on June 30, 1899, than it was on June 30, 1898. The average annual value of each pension (invalid and widows) under the general laws is greater than it ever has been, and while the average annual value of each pension under the act of June 27, 1890, gradually decreased from 1891 (first year), the table shows that there was an increase in the value during the past year, and this, too, while the number of widow pensioners was greater than ever before.
The total amount paid out in the fiscal year of 1898 for army and navy pensions was $144,651,879, while for the fiscal year of 1899 the amount was only $138,355,053, showing a decrease of $6,296,826. This decrease is due in part to the fact that there were 7,614 certificates (original and restorations, see page 3, report of 1898) issued in June, 1897, which were held in the Bureau and not sent to the agencies for payment until after July 1, 1897 (account fiscal year 1898), so as to avoid creating a deficiency; also the first payments were considerably larger in the year 1898 than in the year 1899, for the reason, as stated, that special efforts had been made to adjudicate and dispose of the claims of long standing during the year 1898, and there were less of them during the past year.
TABLE No. 2
shows the number of pensioners dropped from the rolls by reason of death, remarriage of widows, minors attaining the age of 16, failure to claim within statutory period, and for all other causes, and in comparison with previous years were as follows, viz:
This table shows (footnote) the number of minors not appearing on rolls in separate certificates.