If you’re working in the nuclear weapons industry, you know the nature of your work exposes you to more risk than usual.
It’s not just any risk: studies show nuclear workers who are constantly exposed to low doses of radiation have 10% higher risks of death due to all cancers except leukemia and a 19% higher risk of death due to leukemia.
It’s only fair to expect benefits for the hazardous nature of your work. Fortunately, the law provides you with that benefit. The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) allows nuclear workers and their survivors to recover compensation in case of work-related illness.
What is the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act?
The EEOICPA is a law that provides compensation and medical benefits to nuclear weapons industry employees whose work has made them ill. In case of the workers’ death, their survivors are also qualified to claim the benefits.
Who is Covered Under the EEOICPA?
The list of beneficiaries under the EEOICPA depends on whether they fall under Part B or Part E.
Under Part B, covered employees are current and former workers who have been diagnosed with cancer, chronic beryllium disease, beryllium sensitivity, or silicosis, and those whose illnesses were caused by exposure to radiation, beryllium, or silica while working at a covered Department of Energy facility or a covered Atomic Weapons Employer or Beryllium Vendor.
Part E covers DOE contractor or subcontractor employees exposed to toxic substances at a covered DOE facility because of their work, where the exposure caused illness.
The Department of Justice also awarded certain individuals benefits under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). They are also covered under Part B and Part E.
How Can You Claim Benefits Under the EEOICPA?
First, you must file a claim with the Department of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOICP) under Part B, Part E, or both.
Once the claim is complete with the support of available evidence, the claims examiner will then issue a decision accepting or denying your claim.
How Can a Lawyer Help You Claim Benefits if You’ve been Denied?
If you receive a decision denying your claims, you may file your objections and request a hearing through the Final Adjudicatory Branch (FAB). The objection must also be filed within 60 days from the date of the claims examiner’s decision denying your claim.
Filing an objection is where the technical side of the law comes in, as you will need to prove in detail your illness or illnesses were caused or aggravated by your employment in the nuclear industry.
You will also need to review the probability of causation guidelines packed with legalese and technical terms that may sound unfamiliar to you.
At Stephens & Stephens, our EEOICPA attorneys can help you in all stages of the claims process, even if the FAB denies your claim and you are looking for reconsideration or a reopening. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 716-852-7590. We’ll review your case and fight to get you the benefits you deserve under the law.