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Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation (DCMWC)

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Miners and Their Families Benefit from Health Care Reform

When President Obama signed the healthcare reform bill on Tuesday, March 23, several provisions amending the Black Lung Benefits Act became effective immediately. One provision relieves certain widows of miners who were entitled to receive federal black lung benefits from having to prove that the disease caused the miners' death in order to receive survivor's benefits. Another eases the burden of proof for miners or their survivors where miners had fifteen or more years work in the coal mines and totally disabling respiratory impairments. Discussions have begun to develop a coordinated strategy to identify all potentially affected claims pending anywhere in DOL and the Federal Courts of Appeals and apply uniform procedures for the application of the amendments to them. New awards of benefits to survivors payable from the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund have already been issued.

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