Settlement of accounts
The Secretary concerned, or his designee, may settle the account of—
a member of a uniformed service for whose account payments have been made under sections 552, 553, and 555 of this title; and
a survivor of a casualty to a ship, station, or military installation which results in the loss or destruction of disbursing records.
That settlement is conclusive on the accounting officers of the United States in settling the accounts of disbursing officers.
Payment or settlement of an account made pursuant to a report, determination, or finding of death may not be recovered or reopened because of a later report or determination which fixes a date of death. However, an account shall be reopened and settled on the basis of a date of death so fixed which is later than that used as a basis for earlier settlements.
In the settlement of his accounts, a disbursing officer is entitled, if there is no fraud or criminality by him, to credit for an erroneous payment or overpayment he made in carrying out this chapter, except section 558 of this title. Unless there is fraud or criminality by him, recovery may not be made from a civilian officer or employee or a member of a uniformed service who authorizes a payment under this chapter, except section 558 of this title.
(Added Pub. L. 89–554, § 5(b), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 630; amended Pub. L. 99–145, title XIII, § 1303(b)(11), Nov. 8, 1985, 99 Stat. 741.)