Toxic chemical exposure and radiation can cause serious injury. If you have had exposure to hazardous materials at work, you may qualify for compensation through the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA). Under this act, workers and their survivors may be eligible for settlements of up to $250,000, and that amount does not include reimbursement for medical expenses. Unfortunately, receiving fair compensation for your injuries is rarely as simple as filing a claim. Employees must traverse the complicated legal field of government worker claims. They also face maneuvering through and trying to understand workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability laws. If you meet the criteria for EEOICPA compensation and need to file a claim, please seek help first from an EEOICPA attorney.
An Energy Employee Compensation Law Firm Can Help
An EEOICPA can help you determine if you are eligible for settlement due to chemical or radiation exposure at work. If that is the case, you will generally fall under one of two categories: Part B or Part E. The part applying to your case will depend on where you were employed and what illness you contracted due to exposure. Because the settlements can amount up to a maximum of $250,000 plus medical expense reimbursement, it is best that you seek the advice of an EEOICPA lawyer before proceeding with your claim. Contrary to what you might think, working with a lawyer does not have to be intimidating or expensive. Under the EEOICPA, your lawyer can only charge a small percentage of your awarded settlement. Also, most lawyers will not collect any fee from you if you do not win. Knowing that these special provisions are in place, you should feel highly encouraged to seek legal counsel if you plan to submit a claim.
What is the difference between Part B and Part E?
Part B provides benefits up to $150,000, and it covers medical expenses related to the qualifying condition. To be eligible for Part B, you must have sustained radiogenic cancer, chronic silicosis, beryllium sensitivity, or chronic beryllium disease. You also must have gotten your illness while working at a covered Department of Energy (DOE) facility, atomic weapons employer facility, or a beryllium vendor facility during a specified period.
Part E provides a maximum compensation of $250,000 to be paid to all claimants as a result of exposure and also covers medical expenses related to any covered conditions. Part E applies to employees of DOE contractors and subcontractors. Certain uranium workers at DOC facilities also qualify if they developed a covered illness as a result of exposure to any toxic substance, including those falling under Part B. If you are eligible for Part E, you are also entitled to a federal payment based on your level of impairment and/or years of qualifying wage-loss if you developed a covered illness resulting from exposure to toxic substances. Survivors of a deceased worker may be eligible for reimbursement if the covered illness caused, aggravated, or contributed to the employee’s death.
Are Family Members Eligible for EEOICPA Benefits?
Yes. Survivors of EEOICPA-eligible workers can receive benefits under either Part B or Part E. For Part B, survivors can collect compensation of up to $150,000 plus the deceased worker’s medical expenses. Survivor benefits under Part E include at least $125,000 in compensation but not to exceed $175,000. Spouses must have been married to the employee at least one year prior to their death to be eligible for survivor benefits. In the absence of a spouse, surviving children receive the benefits if they meet the requirements. Children must either be under 18 years of age or 23 years old and enrolled in school full-time. Adult children who are on Social Security Disability or cannot support themselves are also eligible for benefits.