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OWCP News Release: [01/21/2010]
Contact Name: Jesse Lawder         Michael Volpe

Phone Number: (202) 693-4659     (202) 693-3984
Release Number: 10-0079-SEA

US Department of Labor notifies former Hanford site employees of possible inclusion in new Special Exposure Cohort designation under EEOICPA

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor is notifying all former Hanford employees who worked at the company’s Richland, Wash., site between Oct. 1, 1943, and June 30, 1972, about a new class of employees added to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act’s (EEOICPA) Special Exposure Cohort (SEC). The EEOICPA provides compensation and medical benefits to workers who became ill as a result of working in the nuclear weapons industry. Survivors of qualified workers may also be entitled to benefits.

“We are proud to have paid more than $433 million in compensation and medical benefits to more than 4,500 eligible Hanford workers and their survivors thus far under the EEOICPA,” said Rachel P. Leiton, director of the Labor Department’s Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation, which administers the EEOICPA. “However, we believe there are many more Hanford workers who will qualify for benefits under the EEOICPA because of the new SEC. These individuals are urged to contact the department’s Hanford Resource Center to inquire about their potential eligibility.”

A worker who is included in a designated SEC class of employees, and who is diagnosed with one of 22 specified cancers, may receive a presumption of causation under the EEOICPA. The new SEC class of former employees includes all employees of the U.S. Department of Energy, its predecessor agencies, and its contractors and subcontractors who worked at the Hanford site in Richland during the covered period for at least 250 workdays occurring either solely under this employment or in combination with workdays within other classes of employees in the SEC. More than $5.4 billion in compensation and medical benefits have been paid nationwide under the EEOICPA.

For additional information about the new SEC related to the Hanford site or to schedule an appointment for claim-filing assistance, contact the department’s Hanford Resource Center toll-free at 888-654-0014.