Radiation is a known carcinogen. It can be acquired naturally from the sun’s rays, old TV picture tubes, and machines such as x-rays. You can also get it by working in a nuclear facility or participating in nuclear tests. However, according to Dr. Bernard Cohen of the University of Pittsburgh, there’s only a .202% chance of getting exposed to radiation and getting sick because of it.
While the risk of getting sick because of working in a nuclear facility is only minimal, government officials still have to take precautions to avoid disasters similar to the Chernobyl accident that happened in 1986. Fortunately, the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) was passed in 2000. It is under the Department of Labor (DOL), supported by the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Health and Human Services (HHS). It provides two distinct benefit programs for those in the nuclear industry.
EEOICPA, Part B
The first part of the EEOICPA is Part B. With it, employees, contractors, and sub-contractors of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) nuclear laboratories across the US who became sick after working in their facilities can receive up to $150,000 worth of lump-sum compensation. It also covers payments for medical expenses for the treatment of work-related illnesses. Health providers such as Nuclear Care Partners provide treatment for cancer, chronic silicosis, and chronic beryllium disease. These are only some of the specific conditions that the EEOICPA supports.
An additional or separate amount of $50,000 can be granted by Part B based on the requirements set by the Radiation Expo Exposure Compensation Act (RECA).
EEOICPA, Part E
The second program of the EEOICPA is Part E. It provides a larger financial support of up to $250,000 for DOE employees, contractors, and sub-contractors who became sick after getting exposed to toxic substances, especially uranium, in their facilities. The amount is larger because it partially covers wage loss due to years of illness.
You can claim your benefits upon confirming eligibility and submitting the proper requirements. If you’re a survivor of a relative who’s eligible for the program, you can also claim part of the benefits.