The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program provides benefits authorized by the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA or Act). Part B of the Program went into effect on July 31, 2001 and Part E of the Program went into effect on October 28, 2004. The Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs is responsible for adjudicating and administering claims filed by employees or former employees or certain qualified survivors.
- Compensation of $150,000 and payment of medical expenses from the date a claim is filed is available to:
- Employees of the Department of Energy (DOE), its contractors or subcontractors, and atomic weapons employers with radiation-induced cancer if:
- the employee developed cancer after working at a covered facility of the Department of Energy, its contractors and subcontractors; and
- the employee's cancer is determined at least as likely as not related to that employment in accordance with guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, or
- the employee is determined to be a member of the Special Exposure Cohort (employees who worked at least 250 days before February 1, 1992, for the Department of Energy or its contractors or subcontractors at one or more of the three Gaseous Diffusion Plants located at Oak Ridge, TN, Paducah, KY or Portsmouth, OH or who were exposed to radiation related to certain underground nuclear tests at Amchitka, AK) and developed one of certain listed cancers
- Employees of the Department of Energy, its contractors and subcontractors, and designated beryllium vendors who worked at covered facilities where they were exposed to beryllium produced or processed for the Department of Energy who developed Chronic Beryllium Disease; and
- Employees of the Department of Energy or its contractors and subcontractors who worked at least 250 days during the mining of tunnels at underground nuclear weapons tests sites in Nevada or Alaska and who developed chronic silicosis.
If the employee is no longer living, the compensation is payable to eligible survivors.
Compensation of $50,000 and payment of medical expenses from the date a claim is filed is available for :
- Uranium workers (or their survivors) previously awarded benefits by the Department of Justice under Section 5 of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.
Employees of the Department of Energy, its contractors and subcontractors who were exposed to beryllium on the job and now have beryllium sensitivity will receive medical monitoring to check for Chronic Beryllium Disease.
Compensation and payment of medical expenses is available to employees of DOE contractors and subcontractors, or their survivors, who develop an illness due to exposure to toxic substances at certain DOE facilities. Uranium miners, millers, and ore transporters are also eligible for benefits if they develop an illness as a result of toxic exposure and worked at a facility covered under Section 5 of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). Under Part E, a toxic substance is not limited to radiation but includes things such as chemicals, solvents, acids and metals.
Variable compensation up to $250,000 is determined based on wage loss, impairment, and survivorship.
- Wage loss is based on the number of years that the employee was unable to work or sustained a reduction in earnings as a result of the illness. Wage loss compensation is payable for years of lost wages that are prior to regular Social Security Retirement age (usually age 65). Wage loss compensation is calculated at:
- $10,000 for each year in which wages were 25-50% less than the Average Annual Wage (AAW). The AAW is the average earnings for the 12 quarters (36 months) prior to the first quarter of wage loss.
- $15,000 for each year in which wages were less than 50% of the AAW
- Impairment is a decrease in the functioning of a body part or organ as it affects the whole body, as a result of the illness. An impairment rating is performed once the claimant has reached Maximum Medical Improvement (i.e. the condition is stabilized and is unlikely to improve with additional medical treatment). Impairment compensation is calculated at:
- $2500 for each one percent of whole body impairment
- Survivor benefits include compensation of at least $125,000.
- If the employee sustained wage loss as a result of the covered illness, and that wage loss was prior to Social Security Retirement age (usually age 65), additional compensation may be awarded as follows:
Eligible survivors may receive compensation if the employee's death was caused, contributed to or aggravated by the covered illness. Eligible survivors include:
- A spouse who was married to the employee for at least one year prior to his/her death.
If there is no surviving spouse, then compensation may be awarded to a covered child if, at the time of the employee's death, the child was:
- Under the age of 18
- Under the age of 23 years and a full-time student continuously enrolled in an educational institution, or
- Incapable of self support
Medical expenses are not included in the $250,000 cap.