Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation (DCMWC)
About the Federal Black Lung Program
The mission of the Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation, or Federal Black Lung Program, is to administer claims filed under the Black Lung Benefits Act. The Act provides compensation to coal miners who are totally disabled by pneumoconiosis arising out of coal mine employment, and to survivors of coal miners whose deaths are attributable to the disease. We administer benefits paid from the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund and by responsible coal mine operators under Part C of the Act, and benefits paid under Part B of the Act, to ensure that all payments are accurate and timely. In addition to monthly compensation, we provide eligible miners with medical coverage for the treatment of lung diseases related to pneumoconiosis. We identify and work with coal mine operators and insurers so that liability for payment of benefits is properly assigned.
Steven D. Breeskin
Gerald L. Delo
Chief, Branch of Standards, Regulations and Procedures
Chief, Branch of Accounting and Accountability
Customer Service Plan
The Federal Black Lung Program is a customer-service program. Our principal customers include:
- Coal miners and their survivors who have filed for or are receiving benefits under the Act;
- Representative payees for those beneficiaries who need assistance handling their benefits;
- Coal mine operators, their insurance carriers, and attorneys for all parties involved in the claims adjudication and payment process;
- Medical service providers (physicians, hospitals, respiratory clinics, medical equipment companies, pharmacies, etc.);
- Congressional offices and other government agencies such as the Social Security Administration.
The Federal Black Lung Program believes its customers are entitled to the following standards of service:
- Courteous and prompt assistance on all claims, including a timely response to all inquiries;
- Clear oral or written explanations to all questions;
- Accurate adjudication of claims;
- Clear and thorough claim decisions to all parties, including the right to appeal;
- Timely initiation of benefit payments upon the issuance of awards;
- Monitoring of benefits to ensure that payments are issued properly and accurately.
Reliable Monetary Benefits
Black Lung benefits form a substantial percentage of income for many recipients. Benefit payments are issued monthly. The Program is proud of its track record when it comes to benefit delivery and customer service. Recipients can count on receiving their payments every month, and that when they write or call to report changes or ask questions, they will receive a prompt and courteous response. The Program also contacts every beneficiary by mail annually in order to make sure that benefit information is up-to-date.
Access to Medical Treatment
The Program provides medical treatment for respiratory conditions related to treatment for black lung disease. Program beneficiaries are eligible for prescription drugs, in-patient and out-patient services, and doctors’ visits. In addition, home oxygen and other medical equipment, home nursing services, and pulmonary rehabilitation may be covered with a doctor’s prescription. Medical treatment bills are monitored and subject to audit to ensure that the requested treatments are necessary and that payments are correct.
Compliance Assistance for Employers
In an effort to assist coal mine operators comply with the requirements of the Black Lung Benefits Act to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for occupational disease, the Program has posted guides to insurance requirements and the form necessary to report coverage elsewhere on this Web site. If you are an employer working in the extraction, transportation, or processing of coal, find out more about whether you need to obtain workers’ compensation insurance.
If you represent an insurer, get instructions on reporting an insured company’s policy to DCMWC.
Claims are serviced at one of nine District Offices. To see where a claim may be located, or if you wish to contact any of our District Offices for any reason, click on the link DCMWC Contacts on the right side of this page. If you wish to send an e-mail comment or question, send it to DCMWC-Public@dol.gov.