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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OWCP News Release: [08/01/2011]
Contact Name: Diana Petterson or Jesse Lawder
Phone Number: (202) 693-1898 or x4659
Release Number: 11-1160-NAT

US Labor Department recognizes 10th anniversary of administering Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act

WASHINGTON — On July 31, the U.S. Department of Labor marked the 10th anniversary of administering the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. The EEOICPA provides compensation and medical benefits to eligible workers and their survivors who became ill as a result of working in the nuclear weapons industry. The department has administered Part B of the EEOICPA since the program's inception in 2001, and was charged with the implementation of Part E, created by an amendment to the EEOICPA, on Oct. 28, 2004. To date, the department has paid more than $7.2 billion in compensation and medical benefits to over 71,400 eligible individuals.

"Since the EEOICPA's inception, the Labor Department has been committed to fulfilling the promises made to Cold War veterans," said Rachel P. Leiton, director of the Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation, which administers the EEOICPA. "I am very proud of the hard work and dedication of our employees. The benefits paid to eligible workers and their families have far exceeded the original expectations from the time the program began. I encourage all individuals who may be entitled to benefits to contact us toll-free at 866-888-3322 and file a claim."

Part B of the EEOICPA 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, DOE contractors or subcontractors, designated Atomic Weapons Employers or beryllium vendors. The Labor Department has approved 51,576 claims under Part B of the EEOICPA. Part E of the EEOICPA provides federal compensation and medical benefits to DOE contractors and subcontractors who worked at covered DOE facilities and sustained an illness as a result of exposure to toxic substances. The Part E benefit payout has exceeded $2.3 billion.

The EEOICPA also provides additional compensation for uranium workers who worked at facilities covered by the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice. Additionally, certain survivors of nuclear weapons industry workers are eligible for benefits under Parts B and E. To assist individuals regardless of where they live, the department has 11 stationary resource centers located throughout the country. These resource centers provide an initial point-of-contact for individuals interested in filing a claim under the EEOICPA, and staff provide both in-person and telephone-based assistance. For additional information about how to file a claim under the EEOICPA, call toll-free at 866-888-3322 or visit the DEEOIC's website at http://www.dol.gov/owcp/energy/.