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Office of Workers' Compensation Programs

Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation (DCMWC)

Black Lung Customer Service Plan

OUR MISSION

The Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation (DCMWC) mission is to adjudicate and process claims filed by our nation's coal miners and their survivors under the Black Lung Benefits Act. We currently have 17 offices nationwide comprised of a national office, nine district offices and seven field stations.

WHAT OUR OFFICE DOES

The Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation administers the Black Lung Benefits Act, by providing:

  • top quality case processing and management of claims filed under the Act by coal miners who are or were employed in or around the nation's coal mines, and their surviving dependents. The program currently processes over 6,000 claims annually and manages over 72,000 claims of benefit recipients. We are committed to transforming adjudication processes to accelerate delivery of claims decisions.
  • the accurate and timely payment of over just under $397 million in benefit payments annually. We process approximately 50,000 monthly benefit checks to coal miners who are totally disabled by pneumoconiosis (black lung disease) arising from their employment in or around the nation's coal mines or their eligible surviving dependents. We also process approximately 423,000 medical bills annually within 30 days of receipt for diagnosis and treatment of totally disabling black lung disease.

DCMWC is a customer-service-oriented, high performance workplace. DCMWC's principal customers are:

  • the coal miners or their surviving dependents who have filed for benefits under the Black Lung Benefits Act.
  • attorneys, coal mine operators and their insurance carriers involved in the claims adjudication and payment process.
  • medical service providers.
  • Congressional offices and other government agencies such as the Social Security Administration.

In addition to providing high quality and timely benefit payments to individuals found entitled under the Act, we provide other services that include:

  • providing status reports on claims to members of Congress
  • disseminating statistical Program information to government agencies and to the general public
  • and exchanging claim information with agencies such as the Social Security Administration and the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

OUR PROGRAM'S COMMITMENT IS TO PROVIDE THE BEST POSSIBLE SERVICE

In the processing of black lung benefit claims and payments the Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation believes its customers are entitled to the following standards of service:

  • to ensure that each of our customers receives courteous and prompt assistance when requested.
  • to ensure that our staff's oral and written communication with our customers is easily understandable.
  • to ensure that our decisions on claims and responses to inquiries are timely.
  • to ensure that our staff explains to our customers the steps involved in the processing of their claims and informs them of their appeal rights.
  • to ensure that there is a timely initiation of benefit payments upon the issuance of an award.
  • to ensure that we provide our claimants with a clear explanation of reasons for a denied claim.