What is Part B?
The Short Answer
EEOICPA Part B provides compensation for workers, or their survivors, with radiation induced cancers, beryllium disease or silicosis. Claimants whose claims are approved will receive a lump-sum payment of $150,000 and medical benefits for the covered illness. Some claimants paid under Part B will also receive benefits under Part E.
There are two ways to be paid under a EEOICPA Part B radiation claim:
- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) does a dose reconstruction for the claimant to estimate what radiation the worker may have been exposed to.
- If NIOSH does not have enough evidence to estimate how much radiation the workers at a facility were exposed to a Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) can be designated to allow workers with any one of twenty-two qualifying cancers to be approved without undergoing dose reconstruction.
The Long Answer
EEOICPA Part B covers workers who worked for Department of Energy, or one of the earlier incarnations of DOE, with radiation induced cancers, beryllium disease or silicosis. Claimants whose claims are approved will receive a lump-sum payment of $150,000 and medical benefits for the covered illness. Claimants paid under Part B may also be paid under Part E.
The workers covered under Part B are DOE employees, DOE contract or subcontract employees, beryllium vendor employees and Atomic Weapon employees. If the worker has died certain family members are eligible to file a claim.
Another extremely important benefit of Part B for living workers is the medical card which covers medical care for the approved condition. It covers items like doctor visits, hospital stays, medication, in-home care, hospice care, vehicle modifications, housing modifications, medical alert systems, travel to medical appointments and medically necessary equipment. Many of these services must be approved by DOL in advance. There is a time limit for reimbursement for some expenses, so check with DOL or a Resource Center to make sure you submit your documentation on time. Workers with approved conditions will also be reimbursed for money spent on medical costs beginning at the date the worker filed his or her claim but the documentation needed for reimbursement is very specific, so be sure to check with DOL. One good idea is to set up a special place to save the necessary documentation so you can find it when you need to send it to DOL.
Some claimants report that no doctors in their area take the medical cards. If this is a problem for you can contact DOL or a Resource Center to get your doctor added to the program. DOL also has a webpage where you can see the requirements for adding a doctor.
Workers can also receive medical treatment for consequential illnesses. A consequential illness is an illness that develops because of a Part E covered condition. An example of this would be a secondary cancer metastasizing from a primary cancer .
Family members of deceased workers can also be compensated $150,000 if their claim is approved. If the worker died after filing the claim the surviving family member may be reimbursed for medical costs that were paid but DOL is very specific in the documentation they require for reimbursement.
There are two ways to be paid under a Part B radiation claim:
1. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) does a dose reconstruction for a claimant to try to estimate what radiation the claimant had been exposed to. For a claim to be approved the dose reconstruction needs to show that there is a probability of causation (PoC) of 50% or greater.
2. When NIOSH does not find enough evidence to estimate the amount of radiation workers at a DOE facility were exposed to, a Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) can be designated to allow workers with any one of twenty-two qualifying cancers to be approved without undergoing a does reconstruction. If an SEC is established for a facility a worker needs to have 250 days at an SEC facility as well as one of the 22 qualifying cancers. Some of the cancers have latency periods, which means some time must have passed since the worker was first exposed to the radiation which can cause the specific cancer.
Beryllium disease covered under Part B includes Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD) and beryllium sensitivity. Workers with beryllium sensitivity do not receive lump sum payment but they do receive medical monitoring to continue to check for CBD.
Chronic Silicosis is a covered disease under Part B only if the worker worked in Nevada uranium mines or Alaska atomic weapons test tunnels.
If a Uranium worker has already been approved for a Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) claim, he, she or the surviving family members if the worker is deceased, may receive an additional $50,000 as well as medical care for the approved condition.
Department of Labor makes the final decision on whether a claim will be paid or not.