EEOICPA CIRCULAR NO. 13-03 January 6, 2013
SUBJECT: Los Alamos National Laboratory Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) Class from January 1, 1976 through December 31, 1995.
The purpose of this Circular is to notify all Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC) staff of the SEC class designation for the Los Alamos National Laboratory located in Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Pursuant to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA) and 42 C.F.R. Part 83, a petition was filed on behalf of workers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, to be added to the SEC.
The decision to initiate this petition occurred after the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) determined that it could not reconstruct a dose under 42 C.F.R. § 83.13. NIOSH submitted its findings to the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (“the Board”) on October 31, 2012. On November 7, 2012, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) received the Board’s recommendation to add to the SEC a class of employees who worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
On December 7, 2012, the Secretary of HHS designated the following class for addition to the SEC in a report to Congress:
All employees of the Department of Energy, its predecessor agencies, and their contractors and subcontractors who worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, New Mexico from January 1, 1976, through December 31, 1995, for a number of work days aggregating at least 250 work days, occurring either solely under this employment or in combination with work days within the parameters established for one or more other classes of employees in the Special Exposure Cohort.
A copy of the Secretary’s letter to Congress recommending the designation is included as Attachment 1. Although Congress had the authority to reject the recommendation within a 30-day time frame, Congress took no action. Therefore, the SEC designation for this class became effective as of January 6, 2013, which was 30 days after the Secretary of HHS designated the class for addition to the SEC in the report to Congress.
To qualify under this class, the employee must be an employee of the Department of Energy (DOE), an employee of one of its predecessor agencies, or an employee of a DOE contractor or subcontractor who has worked at least 250 workdays at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico between January 1, 1976 through December 31, 1995. If the employee does not have 250 workdays at the Los Alamos National Laboratory during the period of the class, the case file must be reviewed to determine if additional days in the SEC can be found by combining days from employment meeting the criteria for other SEC classes and aggregating them to meet the 250-workday requirement.
While a new SEC class has been added for employees at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, NIOSH intends to use any available internal and external monitoring data that may become available for an individual claim (and that can be interpreted using existing NIOSH dose reconstruction processes or procedures). This means that for claims that do not satisfy the SEC membership criteria, a partial dose reconstruction is to be performed by NIOSH.
A copy of the NIOSH letter to affected Los Alamos National Laboratory employees is included as Attachment 2.
This Circular should be used in conjunction with EEOICPA Bulletin No. 11-07, Special Exposure Cohort Claim Processing. A screening worksheet is included as Attachment 3.
As outlined in EEOICPA Bulletin No. 11-07, the district offices are to use the comprehensive list provided as the basis for an initial screening of cases associated with all SEC classes. For screening only, the results reflected on the initial screening worksheet must be recorded in ECS using the Screening (SEC/PER/Other) Navigation Panel. From the Screening (SEC/PER/Other) Navigation Panel on the case, select the ‘Create Status’ button. Based on the result of the review and in accordance with the ‘SEC Class Screening Worksheet’, the appropriate result of either “Development Needed” if development is needed, “Likely” if the case is likely an SEC, or “Unlikely” if it is unlikely that the case will be an SEC is selected. The date of the signed worksheet is recorded in the “Date” field. The reason associated with the SEC is selected in the “Reason” field. For this SEC, the reason is “Rvwd per Circular 13-03 Los Alamos National Laboratory SEC (1/1/76-12/31/95).” If the District Office and FAB CEs determine that the case is going to be awarded based on a SEC, a positive SEC causation path must be entered into ECS, selecting the SER and SEF blocks, and entering their Dates and the appropriate SER Reason and SEF Reason “Rvwd per Circular 13-03 Los Alamos National Laboratory SEC (1/1/76-12/31/95).” This process is the equivalent of the SER/SEF codes discussed in Bulletin No. 11-07.
RACHEL P. LEITON
Director, Division of Energy Employees
Occupational Illness Compensation
Distribution List No. 1: Claims Examiners, Supervisory Claims Examiners, Technical Assistants, Customer Service Representatives, Fiscal Officers, FAB District Managers, Operation Chiefs, Hearing Representatives, District Office Mail & File Section