During the period of the Cold War, thousands of workers were employed in the nation's atomic weapons programs. The work was dangerous and consequently many workers may have been exposed to radioactive and toxic substances. Recognizing that workers at these facilities may be suffering from illnesses caused by their work, Congress passed The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) to provide compensation to persons who have become ill as a result of work at atomic weapon facilities. The law became effective July 31, 2001.
Individuals, or their eligible survivors, who worked as an employee, contractor, or subcontractor at a Department of Energy (DOE) facility, such as the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, at an Atomic Weapons Employer or with a company under contract with the DOE and designated as a beryllium vendor may be eligible for benefits under the Energy Employees' Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP).
Part B of the EEOICP
Part B of the EEOICP was enacted to provide compensation to workers with beryllium disease, silicosis, or radiation induced cancer. Employees, or their survivors, whose claims are approved may receive a lump-sum payment of $150,000 and medical benefits for the covered illness.
Uranium workers who received compensation under Section 5 of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) are eligible for an additional $50,000 in compensation under EEOICP.
Part E of the EEOICP
In October 2004, Congress amended the EEOICP with Part E which provides compensation and medical benefits for DOE contractor and subcontractor employees whose illnesses were caused by exposure to any toxic substance while working at a DOE facility. Qualified survivors are the spouse of the employee and children who were either under the age of 18, full time students under the age of 23, or any age and incapable of self support at the time of the employee's death. The passage of this legislation means some individuals who have received payments under the existing Part B may be eligible for a new federal payment if qualified under Part E.
How to get Help
If you need additional information about this program or if you have been diagnosed with an illness and wish to file a claim, contact the:
Hanford Energy Employee’s Resource Center
303 Bradley Blvd Suite 206
Richland, WA 99352
*** Phone Interviews Available ****
U.S. Department of Labor EEOICP Website
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Worker Advocacy