Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation (DCMWC)
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
The Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation has issued proposed regulations to codify Section 1556 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), and the proposal was published in the Federal Register on March 30, 2012. The PPACA contained language that amended the Black Lung Benefits Act by restoring two provisions that had been eliminated by the 1981 Amendments to the Act. The amendments reinstate 30 U.S.C. 921(c)(4), which provides a presumption of total disability or death due to pneumoconiosis where the miner had at least 15 years of underground (or comparable surface) coal mine employment and a totally disabling respiratory impairment, and 30 U.S.C. 932(l), which provides automatic entitlement to benefits for eligible survivors of miners who were awarded benefits based on lifetime claims. The proposed regulations address
- the potential derivative entitlement of survivors, including those previously denied under the law in effect prior to the PPACA amendments;
- the reinstatement of the 15-year presumption as it applies to both miners' and survivors' claims.
In addition, the proposed regulations include several changes to obsolete or unnecessary rules, in accordance with Executive Order 13563.
Important Reference Materials - Information
RIN 1240-AA04: Access the Fall 2011 Unified Agenda item previously published by the Department of Labor.
77 FR 19456: Access the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Federal Register's website.
The time period for submitting comments closed on May 29, 2012. The Department is now reviewing all comments received.