Pennsylvania nuclear workers may be entitled to compensation for illnesses related to radiation exposure.
Department of Labor is trying to inform former nuclear workers of compensation
Possibly hundreds of Pennsylvania workers formerly employed in the nuclear materials industry may be entitled to compensation that they unaware of, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The federal Department of Labor recently held an informational meeting in Pennsylvania to better inform former nuclear workers of their rights to compensation as a result of illnesses they may have acquired due to their exposure to toxic substances. Although over a thousand workers in Pennsylvania have already received payouts from the compensation program, federal officials say there could hundreds more who are eligible but are simply unaware of the program’s existence.
The federal Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act helps compensate workers who suffered from radiation exposure as a result of being employed in the nuclear industry, including at 25 facilities in Pennsylvania. Descendants of deceased workers are also eligible to apply for compensation. Nuclear workers typically fall under either Part B or Part E of the compensation program.
Part B covers workers who were either employed directly by the Department of Energy or one of its contractors or subcontractors or who were employed by an atomic weapons employer or beryllium vendor. Workers applying for compensation under Part B must have been diagnosed with cancer, beryllium disease, or silicosis.
Part E, in contrast, only applies to those who were employed by a contractor or subcontractor of the Department of Energy and became sick due to radiation and toxic substances exposure.
The amount of compensation that is available depends on whether the claimant is covered by Part B or Part E of the program, along with his or her work and medical history. Approved Part B claimants are entitled to $150,000 plus medical benefits. A deceased worker’s descendants are also eligible for $150,000 in compensation under Part B.
The compensation available under Part E takes the form of lost wages, medical benefits, as well as compensation and impairment benefits. Survivors of deceased employees covered by Part E are also eligible for compensation of $125,000.
Radiation is just one example of a toxic substance that can seriously damage a worker’s health. Employees who have become sick as a result of exposure to hazardous substances should always contact a workers compensation attorney to find out what their rights may be. Compensation is often available to injured workers, but it often takes the experience and dedication of a qualified attorney to help make sure such workers receive the full amount they are eligible for.