The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) of 2000 is an act of congress set up to offer compensation for people that worked in nuclear weapons production during the cold war. Most of these people became sick due to exposure to hazardous materials, chemicals leading to radiation poisoning. EEOICPA compensation is split into Part B and Part E, which have different requirements for qualification and other medical and compensation benefits.
Attorneys at Stephens and Stephens say that the eligible people under EEOICPA are survivors of Atomic Weapons Employer (AWE) facilities or any Department of Energy facility. However, the program has since been expanded to cover any worker exposed to radiation while working on government projects. Let’s look at the process of filing an EEOICPA claim.
What Is the Claims Process?
1. Determine if You Qualify for Part B or Part E of EEOICPA Claims
Part B covers employees, contractors, and subcontractors of the Department of Energy (DOE), Atomic Weapons Employers (AWEs), some Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) Section 5 employees, and contracted beryllium vendors.
Part E covers contractors and subcontractors of the DOE and some RECA Section 5 employees. Government employees of the DOE, AWE facilities contractors, and beryllium vendors are not covered under part E.
Once you determine the coverage you are eligible for, it’s time to file your claim.
2. File an EEOICPA Claim Under Part B, Part E, or Both.
You have to file a claim with the Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC), which is the body that provides benefits to sick workers or their families. The claims examiners (CEs) working for the organization will help you get started with your case by assembling available evidence and obtaining additional evidence from other sources that you need to prove you are eligible for EEOICPA compensation and benefits.
After all relevant evidence has been gathered, the CE will analyze it and issue a Recommended Decision, approving or denying your claim. From there, it’s up to you to decide whether to appeal the Recommended Decision.
3. Complete an Occupational History Questionnaire (OHQ)
Once your evidence has been accepted and your claim has been filed, the resource center will have you complete an OHQ in which you will fill in information about your employment such as contracts, pay stubs, and W2s. The completed OHQ is forwarded to the CE assigned to your case at the district office.
You are eligible for EEOICPA benefits if you are a current or former worker in any of the facilities listed by the Department of Energy. You must also have worked for these facilities within the specified periods to be eligible.
Once the adjudication process starts, you might be required to provide additional documentation, such as employment and medical records. You will have 30 days when you receive the request to gather all the evidence and submit the information.
4. Your Claim Is Accepted and Benefits Disbursed
Part B compensation for current and former employees or survivors is $150,000. Additional Medical benefits are provided for approved conditions and frequent medical monitoring for those suffering from beryllium sensitivity.
Part E compensation for workers is $250,000 divided into medical benefits, impairment compensation, and annual wage loss compensation. If your loved one died from illnesses acquired from working at any of DOE, you could get a lump sum of $125,000 and additional wage loss where applicable.
Why You Might Need a Lawyer
The EEOICPA claiming process is very complex, especially if your loved one worked for any of these facilities a long time ago, and you don’t know how to get their employment records. You will need an experienced professional who will ensure that your claim goes through and receive the compensation you deserve.