DOL Reaches Sixth Anniversary Managing Nuclear Worker Benefits
July 31 marked the sixth anniversary of the U.S. Department of Labor's administration of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program. DOL administered Part B of the program since its inception in July 2001 and was charged with implementation of Part E in October 2004 as part of an amendment to the energy program.
The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) provides compensation and medical benefits to employees who became ill as a result of working in the nuclear weapons industry.
DOL says that under the implementation of Part E, more than 25,000 cases were transferred to them from the U.S. Department of Energy in December 2004. Within a matter of weeks, DOL paid its first claimant benefit. As of this month, all but a handful of cases in the transferred backlog have received initial determinations.
"Since the first EEOICPA check was issued six years ago, we have delivered more than $3 billion in benefits to more than 32,000 recipients," said Shelby Hallmark, director of DOL's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, which administers EEOICPA. "Resolution of the 25,000 cases inherited from the Department of Energy is also a real accomplishment. The department has focused on speeding claims processing, and while we have more work to do, we mark this anniversary with pride in what has been achieved so far."