OWCP News Release: [08/26/2010]
Contact Name: Jesse Lawder or Michael Volpe
Phone Number: (202) 693-4659 or x3984
Release Number: 10-1201-NAT
US Labor Department reaches $6 billion in benefits paid under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act
WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that it has paid more than $6 billion in compensation and medical benefits to more than 61,400 claimants nationwide under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. This milestone coincides with the 9th anniversary of the Labor Department's administration of the EEOICPA, which assists employees who became ill as a result of working in the nuclear weapons industry.
"The Labor Department is charged with compensating eligible nuclear weapons workers and their survivors. I am very proud to announce that we have delivered more than $6 billion in compensation and medical benefits during the nine years we have administered the EEOICPA," said Shelby Hallmark, director of the Labor Department's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs. "It is with great pride that we mark this payment milestone. In the future we will continue focusing on delivering excellent customer service to the nuclear weapons community by strengthening the claims adjudication process, our timeliness in delivering benefits and our outreach campaigns."
On July 31, 2001, the Labor Department began administering Part B of the EEOICPA. Part B covers current or former workers who have been diagnosed with cancers, beryllium disease, or silicosis, and whose illness was caused by exposure to radiation, beryllium or silica while working directly for the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Department contractors and subcontractors, designated atomic weapons employers and beryllium vendors. Since 2001, the Labor Department has delivered $3.4 billion in compensation to nearly 42,000 claimants under Part B of the EEOICPA.
Part E, created by an amendment to the EEOICPA on Oct. 28, 2004, provides federal compensation and medical benefits to contractors and subcontractors of the Energy Department who worked at covered facilities and sustained an illness as a result of exposure to toxic substances. Under the Labor Department's administration, the Part E compensation payout has exceeded $2 billion. Medical benefits under both Parts B and E of the EEOICPA total nearly $556 million.
It is the Labor Department's goal to disseminate information concerning EEOICPA benefits to potentially eligible claimants across the country. In June of this year, the Labor Department sponsored town hall meetings in Las Vegas, Nev., and Livermore and Emeryville, Calif., to inform workers and their survivors about three new classes of former employees from the Nevada Test Site, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently added to the EEOICPA's Special Exposure Cohort. The Labor Department's Traveling Resource Center goes monthly to Kayenta, Ariz., and Shiprock, N.M., to assist individuals with the filing of their claims under the EEOICPA. Further, 11 stationary resource centers continue to play an active role in outreach efforts and provide personal assistance to claimants with filing claims and conducting occupational health interviews. For additional information about how to file a claim under the EEOICPA, call 866-888-3322 toll-free.