If you worked in one of the country's atomic weapons programs during the Cold War, you may have developed a serious illness because of it. Even if you didn't work with atomic weapons directly, you may have lost a family member to premature death due to his or her exposure to harmful substances. In June 2001, the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) was created to provide funds to injured workers and their families. Those who may qualify for benefits include employees, contractors and subcontractors at any Department of Energy (DOE) job site or people who worked for an atomic weapons employer. Survivors of deceased employees are also eligible.
Under the second section of EEOICPA, workers who developed cancer as the result of radiation exposure or those with silicosis or beryllium disease can also apply for benefits. If eligible, affected employees would receive a one-time payment of $150,000 in addition to payment of all medical expenses. If you were exposed to uranium on the job and got sick because of it, you may be eligible for an additional $50,000.
There was an amendment made in 2004 to improve benefits and expand eligibility for the program. After the amendment, surviving family members included the employee's spouse, children under age 18 or adult children under age 23 who are full-time students. Mentally and physically handicapped adult children who depended on the deceased employee's income are also eligible for benefits.
Nager, Romaine and Schneiberg Co., LPA is a personal injury law firm located in Cleveland that can help you if you are having trouble collecting your EEOICPA benefits. Even though you are entitled to them by law, you may have been denied due to a paperwork error or another minor problem. You were there when our country needed you, so we think it is only right that you get your benefits without any additional hassle from the government.
The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) benefits Department of Energy (DOE) workers, who experienced exposure to radiation and other toxic substances. At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., LPA, we have handled EEOICPA cases throughout Ohio, and strive to expedite your claim and quickly bring you the benefits you’re entitled to.
Cancer and radiation sickness is a common ailment of energy workers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has specified 22 cancers under EEOICPA as making one eligible for compensation. These cancers are:
The Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) program — administered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) division of the CDC — completes final dose reconstruction on behalf of exposed workers to determine covered worksites. Currently, 3,447 individual Ohio cases have been returned with a completed SEC report.
The Energy Employees Claimant Assistant Project has identified 35 EEOICPA covered facilities in Ohio respective to “Beryllium, AWE (automatic weapons employer), and DOL (Department of Labor)” (verbatim):
If you or a loved one is an energy worker and has suffered on the job illnesses, please contact us today to determine if you are eligible for compensation.
The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP) provides benefits to eligible employees who suffer from beryllium disease under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000. EEOICPA claims can be filed with the Department of Labor online or an applicant can contact an Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Resource Center to find out how to file in person.
According to the Department of Labor, there is two-step process to determine a claimants entitlement to EEOICPA benefits.
Based on the objections and the hearing, the FAB makes a final decision on the claim. The FAB also can grant or deny request for reconsideration of its final decision. If the claim does not seek reconsideration of the FABs final decision, the claimant has exhausted all the administrative review opportunities available to him or her.
If a claimant disagrees with the FABs final decision, he or she can seek judicial review in federal court. A skilled attorney can help.
Under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA), eligible employees may receive compensation if they are suffering from beryllium disease. But who are the eligible employees and how much do they get paid?
Benefits.gov points out that there are two benefits programs under the EEOICPA.
Part B provides compensation and medical benefits to employees who were exposed to beryllium at a covered Department of Energy facility or a covered beryllium vendor. The employee must have medical evidence to support a diagnosis of radiogenic cancer, chronic silicosis, beryllium sensitivity, or chronic beryllium disease. The employee’s survivors may also qualify for benefits.
Under Part B, employees or their survivors may receive a lump sum of up to $150,000 and medical expenses. If an employee was determined to be eligible for compensation under section 5 of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, he or she may receive a lump sum of $50,000 and medical benefits.
Part E provides benefits to Department of Energy contractors or subcontractors whose exposure at a covered Department of Energy facility was “at least as likely as not” a significant factor in causing, contributing to, or aggravating one of the covered diseases. An employee of a beryllium vendor is not eligible for benefits under Part E, but uranium minors, millers, and or transporters may be eligible. The employee’s survivors may qualify for benefits.
Under Part E, eligible employees or their survivors may receive payments of up to $250,000 plus medical expenses. The amount paid is based on the level of the employee’s impairment and the years of qualified wage loss related to the illness.
The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) provides benefits for workers illnesses related to their exposure to radiation or toxic substances while working at a Department of Energy facility as an employee, contractor or subcontractor.
According to Benefits.gov, there are four diseases that qualify employees, contractors or subcontractors for benefits under the EEOICPA:
Employees, contractors or subcontractors who worked in Department of Energy facilities with beryllium or other toxic substances should pay attention to their lung health and ability to breathe. At any sign of trouble, they should seek medical attention immediately. If they are diagnosed with any of the above diseases, they may be eligible for benefits under the EEOICPA.
Beryllium sensitivity and chronic beryllium disease are two of the diseases eligible for benefits under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. When seeking compensation, employees, contractors or subcontractors working at Department of Energy facilities first must establish they were employed at the facility while beryllium particles or fumes may have been present.
Next, the employees, contractors or subcontractors must present evidence of their beryllium sensitivity or chronic beryllium disease. The Department of Labor explains the difference of proofs for each condition.
Beryllium sensitivity is an allergic reaction to the presence of beryllium that has been inhaled into the lungs. To prove beryllium sensitivity, the employee, contractor or subcontractor must present an abnormal Beryllium Lymphocyte Proliferation Test (BeLPT) or Beryllium Lymphocyte Transformation Test (BeLTT) performed on either lung or blood lavage cells.
Chronic beryllium disease is progressive loss of lung function caused by inhaling beryllium particles or fumes. The medical evidence required to establish chronic beryllium disease for EEOICPA benefits depends on when the employee, contractor or subcontractor was diagnosed.
If the diagnosis was on or after January 1, 1993, the following must be provided:
If the diagnosis was made before January 1, 1993, the medical evidence must include the following:
Our firm represents clients who worked in jobs developing weapons, testing nuclear power and acting in other capacities under the Department of Energy (DOE) and related agencies. As we discussed in an earlier blog, employees, contractors, subcontractors and certain survivors of these workers may be eligible for benefits under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA).
Under the EEOICPA, a program was created to address claims of individuals suffering certain cancers due to exposure on identified work sites. That program is called the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC). Qualifying under SEC allows processing of your claim without a radiation dose reconstruction or examination of the probable cause of your exposure.
The two factors required to qualify for a SEC claim are:
While the EEOICPA originally designated four eligible classes of employees who worked at gaseous diffusion plants in the United States, additional classes are now included.
The application process to qualify for benefits through the SEC or the EEOICPA involves a sometimes confusing submission of a petition, background documentation and other information. We can assist you throughout this process to ensure your application is correct and complete.
If you suffer beryllium disease, silicosis or radiation-induced cancer — or if you are a survivor of a worker who qualifies under the EEOICPA — you may be eligible for compensation and medical benefits.
These benefits are available because of the recognized hazards under which you or your loved one worked. If you have questions about exposure to toxic materials in the workplace, seek experienced legal counsel.