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DEEOIC Webinar: Policy Directives and Future Webinars

May 20, 2021

May 20, 2021

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Industry News

The Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC) recently held a webinar providing information and background about the various policies they issue.

They explained that all directives are geared toward providing guidance to claims examiners and Final Adjudication Branch (FAB) hearing representatives but that, in the interest of transparency, they share these with the public on their website.

Final Bulletins provide detailed guidance to DEEOIC decision makers.  They are usually in effect for one year or until they are incorporated into the Procedure Manual or replaced with another Final Bulletin.  Not all Final Bulletins are incorporated into the Procedure Manual.  For instance, if the Final Bulletin is temporary in nature, such as the ability to use Telemedicine during the COVID pandemic, they will not be included in the next version of the Procedure Manual.

If the advocates or other stakeholders disagree with a Final Bulletin, there is no procedure or policy which allows them to provide public comments.  The only venue to object to a new policy is by a claimant who is affected by the policy.  They can object during the informal oral hearing.

Final Circulars provide information to the adjudicators but do not require any action.  An example is a Final Circular notifying the claims examiner of a class of workers who were added to the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC).  DEEOIC is currently working on a Final Circular regarding the SEC class for the Savannah River Site subcontract workers.

The Procedure Manual is the most comprehensive collection of instructions for the claims examiners and hearing representatives.  It is updated at least twice a year.  One reason that there are so many revisions is when DEEOIC identifies a section that claims examiners find confusing.  DEEOIC wants to ensure that the adjudicators have a clear understanding of the policies.

All policy documents undergo a rigorous review by the DEEOIC personnel at the District Offices as well as the leadership in the National Office and the Solicitor’s office.  The Solicitor makes sure that all changes comply with the law.

DEEOIC presenters heaped praises on the Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health.  They said that they were a great resource especially for presumptive diseases.  DEEOIC suggested that if a stakeholder has scientific studies to support a presumption to send it to the advisory board, [email protected].

The June webinar will address Medical billing issues.  DEEOIC also plans to hold a webinar mid- to late July with the senior leadership from the Office of Workers’ compensation and DEEOIC.  They will present milestones and look ahead at the remainder of the fiscal year.  Cold War Patriots will provide the information on the future webinars as they become available.