If you have been working in a facility recognized by the Department of Labor and you have work-related health problems, there may be good news for you. The chances are that you are eligible for benefits under the EEOICPA – Energy Employees Occupational Illness Program Act.
One of the most common questions among former employees is whether or not someone is eligible for the benefits. The answer to this question isn’t straightforward and is determined by many factors. The compensation program is divided into broad parts, and both have different criteria for qualifications. In an unfortunate event, your loved has already died, there are survivor benefits according to the EEOICPA. The heirs can take part in the division of energy employees’ occupational illness compensation and other benefits.
Basic eligibility criteria
The first and most important condition is that you must be officially diagnosed with a work-related health condition by a licensed doctor. Technically, all illnesses linked to a work-related exposure should be compensated under the EEOICPA. However, some health problems are more likely to get approved than others.
Remember, EEOICPA was enacted to compensate all employees made sick by working conditions or exposure while at work. You will need an official doctor’s diagnosis report to apply for benefits under this act. Besides, it’s important to obtain evidence that your health issue is among the medical conditions covered by the RECA/EEOICPA. You will need the following;
- A doctor’s report that indicates the results of physical examination
- Accurate laboratory results
- All your hospital records
- Death certificates (in case the employee died)
- CAT scans
- Beryllium patch test results
- MRI results
- Pathology report
- Exercise results test
- Pulmonary function test results
- Other relevant medical reports.
You must have worked at any of the DOE (Department of Energy) covered facility within the United States. The DOE keeps a comprehensive database of all covered facilities, and you can use it to find whether or not the facility you work for is covered by the program.
Part B and part E benefits under the EEOICPA
Since its original enactment in 2000, the EEOICPA has been evolving gradually. Today, it is divided into two categories: Part B and part E. Under Part B, all eligible claimants can get $150,000 and medical benefits. Part E guarantees a maximum of $250,000 based on wage-loss and impairment level, survivor benefits, and medical benefits. Note that all the benefits are tax-free and the highest amount of compensation is $400,000. There is no limit for the medical coverage.
The Department of Labor (DOL) only covers medical costs incurred after you file your claim. So, if the approval of the filed claim takes a year (it can take longer than that), all medical costs incurred during that period will be reimbursed once your claim gets approved.
Note that medical benefits don’t mean complete medical coverage. The DOL pays only the medical costs associated with the covered health conditions. For instance, if you are approved by the Department of Labor for pancreatic cancer, but you have also been battling with diabetes, the Department of Labor will only take care of the pancreatic cancer treatment.