Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC)
Authorized Representative (AR) Workshop! – Representatives from DOL, DOE, HHS/NIOSH, the Office of the Ombudsman for EEOICPA, the Ombudsman to NIOSH, and the Former Worker Program gathered in Jacksonville, FL on December 6-7, 2017 for the 1st Authorized Representative (AR) Workshop. “Our goal was to provide an informative, hands-on event, tailored to the specific needs of authorized representatives,” noted BOTA Training Analyst. “We also wanted to talk with ARs, get their feedback, and identify possible areas where DEEOIC can improve its communication and program assistance to ARs.” The event was offered as a pilot program and included twenty-two (22) 30- to 60-minute sessions, offered over the course of 2 days, addressing a variety of topics.
DD Jim Bibeault added, “As hosts for this event, we wanted to make certain that participants felt welcomed in Jacksonville. Each AR was greeted by district office staff as they entered the building, and we posted welcome banners, and provided a Jacksonville welcome packet for those new to the area. We also arranged a meet & greet session for ARs at Fionn MacCool’s. ARs arrived and were greeted by the registration team, DEEOIC Director Rachel Leiton, SOL’s Representative, Policy Chief, BOTA Branch Chief, BOTA Training Analyst, the Ombudsman for EEOICPA and the presenters…”.
Things ran smoothly on both days of the event. The 20 participants who attended on Day 1 were able to attend presentations to learn about the roles of DOL, DOE, NIOSH, the Former Worker Program, and the Offices of the Ombudsman to DOL and NIOSH; how DOE performs record searches; how an individual can search DOE records; and best practices for ARs. On Day 2, 21 participants learned about impairment and wage Loss, the dose reconstruction process, medical benefits, establishing survivorship, exposure and causation under Part E of the EEOICPA, the Site Exposure Matrices, and tools and resources available to claimants and their ARs.
“The SEM workshop was unique and extremely popular as it offered a hands-on opportunity for participants to sit at one of ten computers and search possible connections between diseases and exposures at work sites,” Program Manager for Paragon Technical Services. BOTA trainer completed an analysis of 42 feedback forms that were received from the ARs, noted that the top ranked topics included the SEM, The Adjudication Process, and DOE Records Search. BOTA Branch Chief announced that the NO will assess the feedback from the pilot and will determine future outreach efforts to ARs.