EEOICPA BULLETIN NO. 04-12           


Issue Date:  September 16, 2004



Effective Date: September 16, 2004



Expiration Date: September 16, 2005



Subject: Eligibility of Employees of Wholly-Owned Subsidiaries of Atomic Weapons Employers for Benefits under the EEOICPA.


Background: The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) authorizes the Department of Energy (DOE) to designate covered atomic weapons employers (AWE).  The statute further states that an AWE facility must be owned by a DOE-designated AWE, and have been used to process or produce, for use by the United States, material that emitted radiation and was used in the production of an atomic weapon, excluding uranium mining or milling.  An individual is only considered a covered “atomic weapons employee” if he or she was employed by an AWE facility as defined under the EEOICPA statute and governing regulations.  Accordingly, the EEOICPA does not cover AWE contractor and subcontractor employees, as the very nature of their employment fails to meet the definition of an “atomic weapons employee.”


The Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC) has received claims from employees and/or survivors of employees who worked for companies who were/are wholly-owned subsidiaries of DOE-designated AWEs. Wholly-owned subsidiaries are companies in their own right that share an affiliation with a parent company, but operate as a separate functional entity and provide for employees in accordance with their own distinct corporate administrative policies and regulations. The very separate and unique character of a wholly-owned subsidiary renders it, in effect, its own company with its own corporate identity.  Due to the separate and distinct nature of a wholly-owned subsidiary and the strict regulatory and statutory definition of an AWE facility, a wholly-owned subsidiary of a DOE-designated AWE that is not itself designated as an AWE by the DOE can not be considered an AWE. 


Any work performed by a wholly-owned subsidiary of a DOE-designated AWE in the service of that AWE is therefore viewed as work performed by a contractor to that AWE. As such, employees of wholly-owned subsidiaries of DOE-designated AWEs are not considered “atomic weapons employees” under the EEOICPA unless the wholly-owned subsidiary is itself designated as an AWE by the DOE.  Thus, employees of AWE wholly-owned subsidiaries that do not meet the statutory and regulatory definition of an AWE under the EEOICPA are not “atomic weapons employees” and are to be treated as contractor employees of an AWE and not afforded coverage.   


Reference: 42 U.S.C. § 7384 (l) (3), (4), and (5) and 20 C.F.R. § 30.5 (c) and (d).


Purpose:  To provide guidance on determining eligibility for benefits by employees of wholly-owned subsidiaries whose parent company is a designated AWE.


Applicability: All staff. 




1.            When a new claim for compensation is submitted, the CE is to review the documentation submitted with the EE-1 or EE-2.  Based on this review, the CE completes the appropriate actions needed to verify employment.  Refer to PM2-0400 and PM2-0500 for guidance.


2.         If the employer is not a DOE, Be Vendor, or AWE, the CE determines if the employer is a subcontractor and/or subsidiary of a DOE, Be Vendor, or AWE.  If the employing company is a subcontractor and/or subsidiary of DOE and/or Be Vendor, the CE continues processing the claim in accordance with PM2-0400 and PM2-0500.


3.            If the employing company is a subcontractor and/or subsidiary of an AWE, the CE must deny the claim for no covered employment.  Refer to PM2-0500 (7) (a) for further guidance on obtaining employment verification.  The basis of the denial is that the subsidiary agency, although wholly-owned by the AWE, is a separate entity and considered an AWE contractor.  As a result coverage cannot be afforded.


4.             ECMS coding is the same as the established coding for developing employment and developing subcontractors.



Disposition:  Retain until incorporated in the Federal (EEOICPA) Procedure Manual.







Director, Division of Energy Employees

Occupational Illness Compensation


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