How to Appeal a RECA Claim

The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) is a Department of Justice (DOJ)–administered federal workers compensation program, with additional benefits available for select other groups, as well. Through the program, people who developed medical conditions or illnesses after coming into contact with radiation or other toxic materials may be eligible for a one-time, lump sum compensation payment from the federal government. 

You’ve suffered a grave illness or medical condition, and you shouldn’t have to face the claims process alone. However, getting compensation is never automatic, and many people are rejected each year. 

The good news is that you can appeal a previously denied claim. If you need help with your claim, you can engage an experienced RECA attorney with Stephens & Stephens

Applying and Appealing a RECA Claim Decision

In order to apply, RECA requires claimants to provide written documentation of their illnesses, as well as specific completed forms, for their compensation claims to be considered. 

Once submitted, your application is marked for review within the torts branch of the DOJ Civil Division. A determination on your claim and compensation eligibility must be made within a year of submitting all relevant documents, and if 12 months pass without a determination, then an application is automatically approved. 

Far from all applications are approved, however. Fortunately, an initial ruling on your eligibility for RECA benefits is not final. You may find success by filing an appeal directly with the DOJ. 

Here’s how it works:

  • You submit a written RECA determination appeal within 60 days of receiving the first decision.
  • An appeals officer will decide whether to uphold or overturn the original decision.
  • In some cases, the claim may be sent back to the DOJ assistant director for additional review.
  • Finally, if the claim is denied again, it’s possible to seek judicial review in the U.S. District Court.

Navigating the RECA claims process is difficult on your own—especially when your previous claim was denied. Get the individualized help you need from a RECA lawyer with Stephens & Stephens.

RECA Claim Denied? Get Help from an Attorney

Your exposure to hazardous chemicals changed your life. You should be eligible for RECA benefits. Don’t give up on your RECA claim without consulting an experienced attorney with Stephens & Stephens first. 

Call 716-852-7590 or fill out the contact form below for more information.