RECA funding is available for those hurt by radiation and toxic substances resulting from nuclear testing in the U.S. Reach out to a RECA attorney with Stephens & Stephens today to file a claim. Don’t wait, because this program is set to end on July 10, 2022.
Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Claims Assistance
The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) was enacted upon a Congressional finding that the United States should recognize and assume responsibility for the harm done to individuals who developed certain cancers and other diseases following employment in the uranium industry or following exposure to radiation released during atmospheric nuclear tests.
The Radiation Exposure Compensation Program (RECP) established under RECA provides lump sum compensation to three defined classes of individuals:
- Uranium industry workers ($100,000)
- On-site participants ($75,000)
- Downwinders ($50,000)
On-site participant and downwinder claims (filed under Section 4) are paid from the Radiation Exposure Compensation Trust Fund, which is set to expire on July 10, 2022. Amounts in the fund not spent at that time will be liquidated and deposited with the United States Treasury.
Uranium industry worker claims (filed under Section 5) are paid from the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Fund pursuant to the EEOICPA, which isn’t currently set to end and will be replenished as needed.
Need an Attorney to Help with Your RECA Claim?
Stephens & Stephens provides assistance to individuals, or their eligible survivors, to collect compensation from the government under RECA.
- Amendments to RECA have resulted in expanded coverage, meaning that you may now be eligible, even if you were denied in the past.
- Previously denied claimants may re-file up to three times. Resubmissions made prior to July 2000 do not count toward the three-time limit.
- RECP statistics show that between April 1992 and June 2007, only 40% of denied claimants continued to pursue compensation awards.
- To date, the government has approved thousands of claims and distributed over $2 billion in compensation.
Our fees for assisting with claims under RECA are set by statute, and we do not collect any fees unless and until your claim is paid. No attorneys’ fees are charged for unsuccessful claims.
If we are filing an initial RECA claim, our fees are two percent of the total payment made. For example, if you are awarded a $50,000 initial RECA claim, we collect $1,000, and the remainder is paid to you.
If we are resubmitting a previously denied RECA claim, our fee is ten percent of the total payment made.
Expenses payable in addition to the statutory attorney fee will be discussed in advance. This means, for example, that if we need to order documents to support your claim, we may request that you pay for the actual cost of the document before we order it, or we may request that you provide such payment when your claim is paid.
Overview of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act
On October 5, 1990, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) was passed, and it was significantly expanded by the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2000. The Radiation Exposure Compensation Program (RECP) was established by the Attorney General and began processing claims in April 1992. The RECP is administered by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Division, Torts Branch, Constitutional and Specialized Tort Litigation Section.
Radiation Exposure Compensation Act covers all states where uranium was mined and processed, as well as certain “downwind” counties in Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. Although the vast majority of claims are filed by people residing in the Southwestern United States, individuals residing in every state, as well as in several foreign countries, have been provided compensation through the RECP.
The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act was put in place to avoid litigation and to minimize costs for those impacted, as well as for the government. Because of this, RECA does not require claimants to establish causation (unlike the EEOICPA). Individuals may qualify for RECA compensation by establishing the diagnosis of a listed compensable disease after working or residing in a covered location for a certain period of time.
RECA provides compensation to three defined classes of individuals: uranium industry workers ($100,000), on-site participants ($75,000), and downwinders ($50,000).
In cases of eligible individuals who are deceased at the time of payment of compensation, payments are made first to the spouse (married for at least one year immediately prior to death), then (if no spouse) in equal shares to living children, then (if no spouse and no children) in equal shares to living parents, then (if no spouse, children, or parents) in equal shares to living grandchildren, then (if no spouse, children, parents, or grandchildren) in equal shares to living grandparents.
Such survivors may also file claims on behalf of eligible individuals who have died before filing a RECA claim.
What to Expect from the RECA Claim Process
If the DOJ determines that any requirements for compensation are not met, the DOJ will let you know in writing, and you as the claimant (or eligible survivor) are allowed sixty days from the date of notice to correct any deficiency. Failing that, the DOJ will deny the claim without further review.
If the claim is denied, we have days to appeal, and the appeals officer is required to decide the appeal (affirm, reverse, or remand for further action) within ninety days of receipt of the appeal. Administrative review by the Appeals Officer is required before you can seek judicial review in federal court.
The DOJ is required to make a decision on each properly filed RECA claim within one year of the filing of the claim. The exception is if the DOJ requests additional information from the claimant; in that case, the clock stops until the claimant provides that information or notifies the DOJ that they will not do so.
If the DOJ does not make a decision within one year, the claim will be deemed awarded as a matter of law and paid.
In fiscal year 2006, RECP’s overall average claim-processing time across all claimant categories was 339 days, and average claim-processing times should continue to decrease.
From April 1992 through June 2007, RECP authorized payments totaling $1.2 billion for 18,110 claims — about 68% of the 26,550 claims filed during that time period. About 46% of that $1.2 billion was paid to downwinders, 37% to uranium miners, 8% to uranium millers, 7% to on-site participants, and 2% to uranium ore transporters.
All compensation awards are made in the form of one-time lump sum payments.
When a claim is approved, the DOJ will require the claimant to provide an affidavit in connection with other payments that could offset the amount of the RECA award. The DOJ may request that the claimant (or eligible survivor) provide further records or documents, or execute affidavits or releases of information. If the claimant fails or refuses, this may be deemed to be a rejection of the payment.
Once the claimant (or eligible survivor) elects to accept the payment, the claim is to be paid within six weeks.
RECA Attorney FAQ
If you’re seeking justice for injuries you’ve suffered, you have plenty of questions. Get answers to those questions from an experienced RECA lawyer. We have the resources you need for your claim and can help your claim succeed.
What’s the difference between RECA and EEOICPA claims?
One of the key differences between RECA and EEOICPA claims is that RECA doesn’t offer medical benefits. Your injuries instead are compensable by a one-time lump sum payment, which can be used for your medical bills.
But you may be eligible for both. Talk to your legal representative about your eligibility and what your claim may be worth.
What are downwinders?
You may not have been employed at a nuclear testing site, but the fallout from one of these federal tests can still impact your health. Downwinders are people who suffered from radiation-related disease because they were downwind from nuclear testing facilities. If you believe you qualify as a downwinder, our lawyers are committed to getting your benefits. Talk to your lawyer to determine if your state is impacted.
How do I know if I’m eligible for RECA benefits?
For many, eligibility for RECA benefits means being employed in one of the agencies testing radioactive substances, or being one of the people who never worked for one of these companies but were downwind from their testing facilities. We can help you determine whether you’re eligible.
How do I file a RECA claim if I’ve been denied before?
If you’ve been denied a claim, you may still have grounds to pursue compensation. You can take the official statement regarding your denial to a lawyer, who can help you resubmit your claim and seek the compensation you’re due.
How can a lawyer help me with a RECA claim?
RECA claims are one of our most important practice areas, and we’re dedicated to providing the service you need to get your claim compensated. You may not have the resources you need for success, which is where we step in. If you don’t have representation for your claim, it can be difficult or even impossible to get fairly compensated.
Find Out How an Attorney Can Help with Your RECA Claim
Being awarded the funds you’re due from the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act is unnecessarily difficult. That’s unfair, and so is the way you and your family have been impacted by radiation and toxic substance exposure. At Stephens & Stephens, we want to do what we can to start making things right.
We’ve successfully handled RECA claims for years, and we want to give you your best chance at maximum compensation. Call a RECA attorney at 716-852-7590, or fill out our contact form below. There’s no time to lose, because RECA is set to end on July 10, 2022. Together, let’s go after the funding you’re owed for this dark chapter in your life.