If  you worked in the production and testing of nuclear weapons during the Cold War, you may be aware of or filed claims under The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA). This legislation provides a compensation program for civilians who contracted illnesses related to their work in nuclear weapons under the Department of Energy and its predecessor programs.

Here are FAQs, and associated answers, posed by victims filing compensation claims under EEOICPA:

What evidence is required for my claim to be approved?

Your claim must contain evidence of covered employment, a diagnosed medical condition and causation. Causation means a substantiated relationship between the employment, exposure and the diagnosed condition.

I just filed a claim, what happens next?        

The resource center may contact you to complete an Occupational History Questionnaire. Once this is done, the resource center forwards the information to an assigned claims examiner who will handle your case. You may be asked for additional documentation as the claim is being reviewed. You have 30 days to respond to a request for additional information.

What benefits will I receive if my claim is accepted?

There are two parts of EEOICPA under which claims can be approved and paid. Part B provides compensation for workers with radiation induced cancers, beryllium or silicosis. Part E compensates workers for all occupationally induced illnesses caused by any toxic substance. The benefits are as follows:

Part B — Lump sum payment of $150,000, plus medical benefits for the covered illness
Part E — Compensation for lost wages and impairment up to $250,000, plus medical benefits for the covered illness

Some claimants paid under Part B will also be paid under Part E.

If you worked with nuclear weapons in a Department of Energy program and believe you have an illness related to your exposure, contact Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A.  for a consultation. We can determine if you may qualify for EEOICPA benefits and help you with the filing process.