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Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act

July 31, 2001 marked a big day for workers of the Department of Energy. The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act was put into action. The EEOICPA was put in place to assist those who suffered from illness related to their time spent working for the Department of Energy. Divided into two parts, B and E, the program functions to deliver benefits to eligible employees and former employees, including contractors, subcontractors, and even extending to survivors of such individuals.



What is the EEOICPA?

The mission of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act is to deliver benefits to eligible employees and former employees of the Department of Energy, its contractors and subcontractors or to certain survivors of such individuals, as provided in the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. The mission also includes delivering benefits to certain beneficiaries of Section 5 of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

Who is eligible for EEOICPA benefits?

Employees of the Department of Energy, its contractors and subcontractors, and designated beryllium vendors who worked at covered facilities where they were exposed to beryllium produced or processed for the Department of Energy who developed Chronic Beryllium Disease; and Employees of the Department of Energy or its contractors and subcontractors who worked at least 250 days during the mining of tunnels at underground nuclear weapons tests sites in Nevada or Alaska and who developed chronic silicosis.If the employee is no longer living, the compensation is payable to eligible survivors.Uranium workers (or their survivors) previously awarded benefits by the Department of Justice under Section 5 of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.Employees of the Department of Energy, its contractors and subcontractors who were exposed to beryllium on the job and now have beryllium sensitivity will receive medical monitoring to check for Chronic Beryllium Disease.

What benefits are covered in Part B?

The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program provides benefits authorized by the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA or Act). Part B of the Program went into effect on July 31, 2001.

Compensation of $150,000 and payment of medical expenses from the date a claim is filed is available to:

  • Employees of the Department of Energy (DOE), its contractors or subcontractors, and atomic weapons employers with radiation-induced cancer if:
  • the employee developed cancer after working at a covered facility of the Department of Energy, its contractors and subcontractors; and
  • the employee's cancer is determined at least as likely as not related to that employment in accordance with guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, or
  • the employee is determined to be a member of the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) (employees who worked at least 250 days before February 1, 1992, for the Department of Energy or its contractors or subcontractors at one or more of the three Gaseous Diffusion Plants located at Oak Ridge, TN, Paducah, KY or Portsmouth, OH, or who were exposed to radiation related to certain underground nuclear tests at Amchitka, AK, or who qualify as a member of one of the additional SEC classes added by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as provided for under the Act) and developed one of certain specified cancers


What benefits are covered in Part E?

Compensation and payment of medical expenses is available to employees of DOE contractors and subcontractors, or their survivors, who develop an illness due to exposure to toxic substances at certain DOE facilities. Uranium miners, millers, and ore transporters are also eligible for benefits if they develop an illness as a result of toxic exposure and worked at a facility covered under Section 5 of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). Under Part E, a toxic substance is not limited to radiation but includes things such as chemicals, solvents, acids and metals.

Variable compensation up to $250,000 is determined based on wage loss, impairment, and survivorship.

Wage loss is based on the number of years that the employee was unable to work or sustained a reduction in earnings as a result of the illness. Wage loss compensation is payable for years of lost wages that are prior to regular Social Security Retirement age (usually age 65). Wage loss compensation is calculated at: $10,000 for each year in which wages were 25-50% less than the Average Annual Wage (AAW). The AAW is the average earnings for the 12 quarters (36 months) prior to the first quarter of wage loss. $15,000 for each year in which wages were less than 50% of the AAW

Impairment is a decrease in the functioning of a body part or organ as it affects the whole body, as a result of the illness. An impairment rating is performed once the claimant has reached Maximum Medical Improvement (i.e. the condition is stabilized and is unlikely to improve with additional medical treatment). Impairment compensation is calculated at:

  • $2500 for each one percent of whole body impairment
  • Survivor benefits include compensation of at least $125,000.

If the employee sustained wage loss as a result of the covered illness, and that wage loss was prior to Social Security Retirement age (usually age 65), additional compensation may be awarded as follows:
  • $0 — if the employee had less than 10 years of wage loss
  • $25,000 - if the employee had between 10 and 19 years of wage loss or $50,000 — if the employee had 20 years or more wage loss
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What part does Right at Home play with you and your benefits?

Right at Home is a certified provider of the EEOICPA.  As a provider certified through the EEOICPA, Right at Home is able to serve all of your in home care needs.  If full 24/7 care is required or if a short visit once or twice a week is requested we are able to fulfill your needs.

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Making a decision about caregiving for a loved one is never easy. To be comfortable with your options, you need answers. We hope the following information is a good start. If your questions aren’t completely answered, contact us and we will be able to help you through the benefits and filing process as well as answer any questions you may have about the EEOICPA. We’d be glad to speak with you about your specific family situation.


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