EEOICPA AND RECA PROGRAM OVERVIEW
During the Manhattan Project and the Cold War, hundreds of thousands of men and women served their Nation in building its nuclear defense. These courageous Americans, however, paid a high price for their service. Many developed disabling or fatal illnesses. While the Nation can never fully repay these workers or their families, they deserve recognition and compensation for their sacrifices.
Recognizing the sacrifice of these workers, in October 2000, the U.S. Congress enacted the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA). The purpose of the act is to provide health benefits and compassionate compensation of up to $400,000 for current or former employees (or their survivors) who worked in the nuclear weapons or uranium industry and were exposed to radioactivity and other dangerous toxic substances.
Under EEOICPA’s Part B, U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) facility employees and certain contractors and subcontractors may qualify for financial compensations. These are people who were diagnosed with radiogenic cancer, chronic beryllium disease, or chronic silicosis as a result of their work exposure. The amount of compensation for which people may qualify is up to $150,000 plus free lifetime health benefits that don’t have any co-pays, deductibles, or spending caps.
The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) provides cash compensation to uranium workers. RECA provides $100,000 in cash compensation. EEOICPA provides an additional $50,000, bringing the total Part B cash compensation to workers in this group to $150,000 and provides health benefits.
In 2004, the U.S. Congress amended the EEOICPA by adding Part E. This provides potential compensation of up to $250,000 to DOE contractor and subcontractor employees, and uranium miners, millers, or haulers for certain illnesses related to their work such as exposure to toxic substances. Part E also provides free lifetime health benefits with no co-pays, deductibles, or spending caps. If workers received $150,000 under Part B, any additional compensation under Part E brings the total compensation to $400,000. However, workers don’t need to have received Part B compensation to be eligible for Part E compensation.
People who are the eligible survivors of former workers may also receive cash compensation.