Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC)
Other Law, Reference to
Below are the head notes for the FAB decisions and orders relating to the topic heading, Other Law, Reference to. The head notes are grouped under the following subheadings: Foreign law, Native American law, and State law. To view a particular decision or order in its entirety, click on the hyperlink for that decision or order at the end of the head note.
- DEEOIC adopted the “local law” doctrine to determine whether an individual conceived after an employee’s death qualified as a survivor under Part B of EEOICPA. Based on the laws of British Columbia, Canada, triplets who were conceived approximately three years after the death of the employee by use of his stored sperm did not qualify as surviving children under Part B. EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 20160112-20000844-3 (Dep’t of Labor, February 11, 2016).
- An adopted Navajo child may claim EEOICPA benefits only as a survivor of her adoptive father and not her natural father because under the Navajo Nation Code the natural parents of an adoptive child are “relieved of all parental responsibilities for such child or to his property by descent or distribution or otherwise.” EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 32576-2004 (Dep’t of Labor, November 19, 2004).
- Probative value of official documents issued by the Vital Records and Tribal Enrollment Program of the Navajo Nation documenting employee’s divorce far outweighed conflicting factual statements from putative surviving spouse and information on death certificate provided by one of her children who was merely repeating second-hand information. EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 63743-2006 (Dep’t of Labor, November 21, 2006).
- A couple cannot become legally married in New Mexico by simply living together as husband and wife under New Mexico’s laws. EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 9855-2002 (Dep’t of Labor, August 26, 2002).
- Surviving spouse with a valid claim under the Act is not bound by an otherwise legally valid agreement, such as a prenuptial agreement, in which she promised to forego that award. EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 44377-2004 (Dep’t of Labor, October 6, 2005).
- Prenuptial agreement signed by surviving spouse was only relevant to the extent that it addressed the validity under state law of the spouse’s marriage to the covered employee; it was not relevant to whether the spouse had waived her eligibility to survivor benefits since EEOICPA bars the assignment or transfer of any claims for benefits. EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 55875-2004 (Dep’t of Labor, November 15, 2005).
- EEOICPA does not define marriage, so DEEOIC looks to the law of the most appropriate state to determine whether a claimant was married to the employee. If state law recognizes the existence of a marital relationship, that relationship must be recognized by DEEOIC in its adjudication of EEOICPA survivor claims. EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 95118-2010 (Dep’t of Labor, July 12, 2010).
- DEEOIC utilizes the Common-Law Marriage Handbook for Claims Examiners and Hearing Representatives, which is available on DEEOIC’s website, for guidance in its adjudication of EEOICPA survivor claims. EEOICPA Fin. Dec. No. 95118-2010 (Dep’t of Labor, July 12, 2010).