Silicosis is an occupational lung disease caused by inhaling crystalline silica dust. The disease causes inflammation and scarring in the upper lobes of a person’s lungs. The scarring comes in the form of nodular lesions.
Under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Act (EEOICPA) Part B, a claim for chronic silicosis must establish several things for a person to quality for compensation and benefits. First, the worker must provide proof that they were U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) employee or a DOE contract employee who was present for at least 250 workdays during the mining of tunnels at a DOE facility. These facilities must have been used for tests or experiments related to an atomic weapon in either Nevada or Alaska.
A claim based on chronic silicosis under Part B must include:
- A written diagnosis of silicosis that is signed by a physician
- A chest x-ray interpreted by a “B” reader, a CT scan or other imaging technique or a lung biopsy that show results consistent with silicosis
Silicosis also qualifies as a respiratory disease under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). To qualify for compensation, a worker must have received a silicosis diagnosis and provide proof that they worked in a uranium mine, mill or as a transporter for at least one year before December 31, 1971. The work must have been done in one of the following Uranium Worker States:
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
In both cases, the person who submits the claim is eligible for up to $400,000 in compensation. They may also receive free medical care for their qualifying situation and any other illness that’s related to silicosis and its treatment.
If you have questions, contact the CWP Help Center at (888) 903-8989.