nager romaine & schneiberg attorneys

Understanding the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC)

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:

  • Diagnosis with one of 22 identified cancers, including bone, lung, renal and other cancers
  • A period of work at an identified DOE or Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) facility

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.

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