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DOL Changes Policy; Allows Easier Approval for Part E Claims after 1995

March 30, 2017

March 30, 2017

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News & Events

If you are a worker or survivor who filed a Part E claim, but were denied because your exposure happened after 1995, you should call your claims examiner or local resource center. That’s because the Department of Labor (DOL) has recently reversed its policy of denying most post-1995 claims based on the assumption that levels of exposure to chemicals after 1995 were too low to have caused, aggravated or contributed to an illness.

Since the policy has been reversed, claimants with post-1995 claims again have the same burden of proof as claimants from all other time periods. So, those who filed Part E claims, but were denied, can ask Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC) to reopen their claims and possibly receive compensation.

This policy – dubbed Final Circular 15-06 – was enacted in December 2014. It was developed because DOL felt workers employed after 1995 would have had minimal exposure to chemical toxins that would qualify them for an occupational illness. But advocates objected to this assumption.

The Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health recommended that DOL rescind this policy. Their argument? There was not enough evidence that the exposure had lessened significantly.

In February 2017, DOL followed the board’s recommendation and rescinded Circular 15-06. This is good news for workers who had filed a Part E claim (chemical toxic substances, rather than radiation) since 2014, but have been denied.

Do you fit this description? If so, contact your local district office or resource center to ensure your claim is being reevaluated.