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NIOSH is Returning Cancer Claims to DOL – Slowly
February 4, 2022
February 4, 2022
On May 1, 2021, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) identified a computer system security risk to their dose reconstruction program, and placed a pause on reconstructing dose. When the moratorium was in place, there were 1,378 cancer claims at NIOSH waiting for dose reconstruction.
For the past few months, Cold War Patriots (CWP) has kept a running log (see below) on the number of cancer claims which require dose reconstruction that the Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC) has sent to NIOSH during NIOSH’s Cybersecurity Modernization Initiative. The statistics are taken from DEEOIC’s weekly update on Part B claims.
|Date||Currently at NIOSH||Returned by NIOSH|
Grady Calhoun, Director of NIOSH’s Division of Compensation Analysis & Support (DCAS), explained during the June 23, 2021 meeting of the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health that while there was a pause in the process NIOSH was still able to reconstruct 5 to 6 doses per week, compared to the 50 or so per week prior to the pause. This inevitably led to some backlog.
On September 15, 2021 NIOSH notified the public that the pause was over for cancer claims.
During the December 8 – 9, 2021 Board meeting, Mr. Calhoun provided an update. The DCAS power point presentation noted that they are now able to process all cases manually and that their goal is to return to “steady state” processing by December 31, 2021. He explained that NIOSH’s goal is to have approximately 775 cases waiting to have their dose reconstructed once does reconstruction returns to normal levels.
As can be sees from DOL the case log, it doesn’t appear that NIOSH has achieved their goal. The backlog has increased by 471 claims – from 1,378 claims on May 1, 2021 to 1,849 as of January 30, 2022. In order to begin to reduce the backlog caused by the four-month slowdown on dose reconstructions, NIOSH must consistently complete far more than 50 dose reconstructions per week. Unfortunately, they managed to only do that once, on the week of November 15, 2021.
More information on the status of the cybersecurity initiative should be forthcoming following the teleconference meeting of the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health on February 16, 2022. Please contact us for information on how to join that meeting.
Cold War Patriots encourages any worker with a possibly work related cancer to file their claim as soon as possible, as NIOSH generally takes a “first in, first out” approach to processing claims. Terminal cases may be expedited.