The Energy Employee Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) created a provision under Part E to compensate sick workers for impairment to their health. This provision is known as impairment ratings.
What is an impairment award?
An impairment award is financial compensation for the permanent loss of function of a body part or organ because of an illness that is covered under EEOICPA. Medical evidence must establish the impairment and to what degree (percentage) it impacts a person. Workers of some Atomic Weapons Employer facilities may not be eligible for this award.
- The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awards $2,500 for each 1 percent of impairment. For example, someone with 10 percent impairment would receive a financial compensation of $25,000. You may be eligible for up to $250,000 of financial compensation under this award.
How does a sick worker get an impairment evaluation?
Call the CWP Help Center at (888) 903-8989 for help to locate impairment physicians. Impairment evaluations must be performed by physicians who are certified to perform impairment evaluations using the American Medical Association (AMA) Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.
- The evaluation is made by analysis of medical testing that demonstrates loss of body function. Some examples of tests U.S. DOL may ask you to undergo may include pulmonary function tests that evaluate how well your lungs are working, range of motion tests that measure the amount of movement around a specific joint or body part, or hearing tests.
What does the DOL consider when determining how much a worker is impaired?
The DOL evaluates:
- Loss of function in the whole body.
- That the evaluation has been done based on standards from the AMA guides.
- That the medical condition has reached the highest medical improvement, the results are stable and the patient is unlikely to continue to get better with medical treatment. This requirement does not apply if a patient’s situation is terminal.
When should a sick worker get an impairment evaluation after receiving the U.S. DOL white medical benefits card?
- Immediately upon receiving the U.S. DOL white medical benefits card. Please call the CWP Help Center at (888) 903-8989 to help find an impairment physician.
- Every two years after that.
- When a worker receives approval for benefits to cover a new or consequential illness that may increase his or her impairment rating.
Why should I get an impairment evaluation?
An impairment evaluation is how our nation recognizes the health consequences you have suffered in the process of building our nuclear deterrent. You have earned this financial compensation under EEOICPA.
Contact the CWP Help Center at (888) 903-8989 if you would like help to understand the impairment process or to find the right impairment physician for you.