The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) was established to compensate workers who became ill because they were exposed to radioactive materials while employed with the Department of Energy (DOE).
There are, however, only certain illnesses that are directly connected to radiation, heavy metal, and chemical exposure that are covered under this federal program. As it relates to the EEOICPA, only certain classifications of workers are able to be compensated for occupational illnesses as a result of exposure to dangerous materials while they are employed at DOE, or one of its subcontractors, or an Atomic Weapons Employer (AWE).
For you to qualify, you must be an eligible worker or the survivor of an eligible worker.
Part B Covered Illnesses
In order to qualify for Part B coverage, you need to have been diagnosed with one of the following medical conditions:
- Chronic Silicosis
- Beryllium Sensitivity
- Chronic Beryllium Disease
To be considered an established chronic beryllium disease, claimants must provide certain types of proof. For diagnosis on or after January 1, 1993, claimants need to provide evidence of either a lung biopsy, computerized axial tomography scan, or a pulmonary function or exercise test displaying pulmonary deficits. Conversely, diagnoses that took place prior to January 1, 1993 requires proof of exposure and one of the following:
- Characteristic chest radiographic abnormalities;
- Restrictive or obstructive lung physiology testing;
- Lung pathology consistent with the disease;
- Clinical course consistent with the disorder; and
- Immunologic tests, such as a skin patch or blood test indicating the existence of beryllium sensitivity;
You must have contracted one of these medical conditions while employed during a specific time period. Depending on the facility, the covered time span for employment differs. What’s more, there must be a determination that the illness developed after being employed at a covered facility, and this specific illness is “at least as likely as not” related to that employment.
The “at least as likely as not” determination is established through a process called dose reconstruction, with radiation doses estimated based on a scientific process.
Also, if an employee is a member of the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) and developed one of certain specified cancers, there is a presumption of causation and those claims do not undergo the dose reconstruction process.
Part E Coverage Details
For you to qualify for Part E coverage, you must establish that the illness is caused by exposure to a poisonous substance during covered employment. Under Part E, toxic substances do not only mean radiation, but also include any other toxic substance like chemicals, solvents, and metals.
Part E covers any condition determined to be related to exposure to poisonous substances at a designated facility. However, if your medical condition is not covered by Part B but was caused or contributed to by exposures to toxic substances during covered employment, it is covered under Part E. Examples of illnesses covered under Part E include: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Emphysema, asbestos related disease, Parkinsonism and Skin Cancer.
If a covered medical condition has caused a decrease in the functioning of a body part or organ that affects the worker’s Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), the employee is entitled to an impairment rating for compensation of $2,500 for each one percent of whole body impairment.
As it relates to Part E, compensation of up to $250,000 is determined based on wage loss and impairment.
Under Part E, a worker or the survivor (s) of an employee is entitled to wage loss compensation if the loss of wages was connected to a covered illness. Wage loss is calculated based on the total years the employee was unable to work as a direct result of the illness and is payable for years of lost wages that take place prior to regular social security retirement age. Total wage loss is either $10,000 or $15,000 for each year of lost wages.
Learn What Medical Benefits You Are Eligible For at Atomic Home Health
Did you or do you currently work at the Hanford Nuclear Site and now have a medical illness that you believe could be due to your employment? Are you wanting to file a claim for the “white card” medical benefits? Atomic Home Health will assist claimants through the paperwork process FREE of charge!
At Atomic Home Health, we offer services to current and former nuclear energy workers which include Hanford site workers, Uranium workers, PNNL workers, and qualifying DOE contractors and subcontractors, who may have developed specific work-related illnesses as a result of exposure to radiation or hazardous chemicals.