The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act is a federal workers compensation program designed to provide benefits to individuals who contracted an occupational disease through exposure to toxic chemicals or substances while working in the energy industry. Enacted in 2001, the act has been used to provide approximately $12 million in benefits to former and current energy workers over the last 15 years.
Specifically, the EEOICPA allows for claims by workers who have developed:
- Radiogenic cancer
- Chronic silicosis
- Beryllium sensitivity
- Chronic beryllium disease
The EEOICPA also governs benefits payable to anyone awarded compensation under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, including DOE contractors and subcontractors who worked as uranium miners, millers or ore transporters.
To qualify for benefits under the EEOICPA, you must have been employed at a facility identified and named by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as exposing you to specific levels of carcinogenic or dangerous substances. HHS issues documents known as Special Exposure Cohorts (SECs) that name specific entities, and identify the inclusive dates when workers may have been exposed to toxic substances. Generally, workers must have been on site a minimum number of days (typically 250) to qualify. Furthermore, meeting the requirements of the SEC is not proof of causation, but only brings about a “presumption” of causation. If it can be shown that your medical condition was more likely caused by some other type of exposure, you may be denied benefits.