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ESA News Release: [04/14/2003]
Office of Workers' Compensation Programs
Contact Name: Quinta Buker
Phone Number: 202-693-0399
Release Number: III-03-04-14-038-PA

Nuclear Weapons Workers Can File Claims, Get Information about Compensation Program

Traveling Resource Center Arrives in New Kensington on April 28

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — A joint U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Traveling Resource Center will visit the Western Pennsylvania/ Pittsburgh area during the week of April 28. Representatives will be on hand to provide information or to assist individuals in filing claims under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).

DOL and DOE officials will present an overview of the program at two Town Hall Meetings on Monday, April 28, scheduled for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. In addition, workers who need assistance filling out claim forms may schedule appointments at the Traveling Resource Center by calling, toll-free, (866) 363-6993, or may drop in during the hours listed below. The meetings and the claims assistance center will be held at the Clarion Hotel in New Kensington.

Town Hall Meeting April 28 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Resource Center Hours April 29-May 1 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Clarion Hotel, 300 Tarentum Bridge Road
New Kensington, PA 15068 (724) 335-9171

"The Labor Department remains committed to current and former nuclear weapons workers in Western Pennsylvania and across the country," said Victoria Lipnic, assistant secretary of labor for employment standards. "Our staff will be in the Pittsburgh area later this month to provide workers with critical information about the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program and to help them file claims."

The EEOICPA became effective July 31, 2001 and provides two different types of assistance.

The Department of Labor administers the program that provides up to $150,000 and payment of medical expenses for current and former DOE employees and DOE contractor employees or their qualified survivors who became ill by their exposure to radiation, beryllium or silica. Covered conditions include radiogenic cancers, beryllium diseases and chronic silicosis.

The Department of Energy program helps DOE contractor employees apply for state workers' compensation benefits, if it is determined by an independent physician's panel that the worker sustained an illness caused by exposure to a toxic substance at a DOE facility. Benefits for successful claimants vary from state to state, but are generally a portion of lost wages plus reimbursement of medical costs.