|November 6, 2008|
Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP)
Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation (DCMWC)
The Pikeville District Office of the Federal Black Lung Program serves Region IV. The District has offices in Pikeville, Kentucky, which serves the state of Kentucky, and in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, which serves the states of Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.
Our agency serves the needs of a varied community, including claimants, beneficiaries, attorneys, coal mine employers, insurance carriers, physicians, pharmacies, hospitals, and medical service and equipment providers.
Congress created the Federal Black Lung program to compensate coal miners, their dependents, and their survivors for the disabling effects of black lung disease (coal workers' pneumoconiosis). In the Act that created the program, pneumoconiosis is defined as any pulmonary (or lung) disability significantly related to or substantially aggravated by coal mine dust exposure.
Who is Eligible?
A claimant must be a "coal miner" (in the literal sense) to be eligible for benefits. A worker may also be considered a "coal miner" for the purpose of the Act when working as a coal transportation worker, coal mine construction worker, or service contractor, to the extent that they worked in or around a coal mine or coal preparation facility. Employees whose work is not directly related to coal mining or coal preparation, such as night watchmen, do not qualify as coal miners under the Black Lung program.
To Whom Can Benefits be Paid?
Benefits are paid to a miner for as many as three dependents, and to surviving dependents of a coal miner, including surviving spouses, surviving divorced spouses, surviving eligible children, and surviving eligible parents, brothers or sisters. In the case of survivors, for claims in which the miner either filed after January 1, 1982, or did not file at all, the miner's death must have been caused - at least in part - or hastened by coal workers' pneumoconiosis.
How Do You File for Black Lung Benefits?
Miners or their survivors who believe they may qualify for Black Lung benefits may file a claim in one of four different ways:
In addition to monthly disability benefits an eligible miner is entitled to medical coverage. The coverage is limited to the miner only and must be directly related to coal workers pneumoconiosis. Certain medical, surgical and other treatments are covered such as hospital, nursing, rehabilitation services, drugs and equipment. For more information, please contact your servicing Black Lung office.
The Pikeville District Black Lung Office serves residents of the entire state of Kentucky. Those interested in filing a claim may visit or write the office at:
U.S. Department of Labor
Mt. Sterling Black Lung Office, which serves Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida is:
U.S. Department of Labor
Office hours for these offices are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.