Strengthening RECA

Momentum is Building to Strengthen the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA)

What’s happening in Congress with RECA?

On July 27, 2023, the United States Senate passed amendment S.1058 to the National Defense Authorization Act. This legislation strengthens the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) and extends eligibility to previously excluded Americans who were exposed to atomic weapons program testing. While this is a great first step, several additional hurdles remain before this legislation can be signed into law when U.S. lawmakers return to Washington D.C. in September. However, if the RECA expansion becomes law, it will:

  • Provide expanded program eligibility to uranium miners, millers and transporters through the end of 1990, which is 19 years more than the previous eligibility deadline of 1971. This group of newly eligible workers will qualify for compensation and healthcare benefits, including home healthcare.
  • Significantly expand the number of eligible downwinders of atomic testing to include residents in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and the territory of Guam. Downwinders are people who were exposed to radiation from nuclear weapons testing sites.
  • Increase compensation for downwinders and, for the first time, extend EEOICPA health benefits to eligible downwinders.

How can you help?

Contact your United States Senators and your House of Representatives member today and encourage them to support adoption of the Senate version of RECA legislation. The following sample message can be used in an email or over the phone:

Dear Senator/Representative:

I am reaching out to ask you to support Senate RECA amendment S.1058 to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, now in a House/Senate Conference Committee. My own work in our nation’s nuclear defense has earned recognition, and it is finally time to do right by my fellow citizens who also sacrificed their health for our national security. Thank you.

Find your state legislators’ contact information at the links below.

What else can you do?

Sign our online petition urging Congress to pass and the President to sign this urgently needed RECA legislation as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.