If you worked at a Department of Labor recognized facility and believe you have a work related illness you may be eligible for benefits under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).

Who is eligible for EEOICPA?

The most common question we come across from former workers is, “Am I eligible for benefits?” Unfortunately, the answer is a bit more complicated.

The energy workers compensation program is split into two parts; both of which have different criteria to qualify. Before we discuss which part you may qualify for, let’s discuss some of the general requirements necessary to be eligible at all.

In the unfortunate event a loved one has already passed away, there are survivor benefits available under EEOICPA. We are currently developing a survivor benefits page. Please contact us in the meantime for any questions about survivor benefits.

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Basic EEOICPA Eligibility Criteria

Have you been diagnosed?

The first question is have you been officially diagnosed with a health condition by a doctor?

Technically, any illness that can be linked to a work-related exposure can be compensated under EEOICPA. However, it’s important to note that some health issues are more likely to be approved than others.

Generally, radiogenic cancers, chronic beryllium disease, and chronic silicosis get approved more often and faster than other illnesses.

Bottom line: EEOICPA was enacted to compensate workers made sick from radiation or chemical exposure. You’ll need to have an official doctor’s diagnosis in order to apply for benefits.

Where did you work?

You must have worked at one of the 300 Department of Energy covered facilities across the country. The DOE keeps a database of covered facilities where you can see if your facility is covered under the program.

If you worked in the Uranium mining industry or have contracted cancer from atmospheric nuclear tests please you may be covered under the RECA benefits program.

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EEOICPA Part B and Part E Benefits

The program has continually evolved since its original passage in 2000. Today it is split into two parts: Part B and Part E.

First let’s discuss my favorite topic: the available benefits.

Under Part B claimants can receive:

  • $150,000 to employees or survivors
  • Medical benefits

Under Part E claimants can receive:

  • Up to $250,000 based upon wage-loss and impairment ratings
  • Medical benefits
  • Survivor benefits

**All benefits are tax free.
**The maximum amount of compensation is $400,000. Medical coverage has no monetary limit.

A note on the medical benefits:

Typically the Department of Labor will only cover medical costs that occur after a claim has been filed. So if the approval of your claim takes a year (yes, it can take that long or longer), any medical costs incurred during that year can be reimbursed once your claim is approved.

Additionally, medical benefits do not mean complete medical coverage. The Department of Labor (DOL) will only pay for medical costs directly associated with your covered illness.

For example, if you’re approved by the DOL for pancreatic cancer, but you also have diabetes, the DOL will only pay for treatment related to the cancer.

For a further explanation on health benefits check out our EEOICPA Medical Benefits page.

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Which part am I eligible for?

Okay, now that we have a basic understanding of the program and benefits let’s get to the main question; what am I actually eligible for?

The differences between Part B and Part E can be confusing. Whether you’re eligible for either or both is primarily determined by your medical condition and type of facility where you were employed.

Covered Medical Conditions

Part B, Part E

Radiogenic Cancers All of the covered illnesses in Part B
Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD) as defined in EEOICPA
Beryllium Sensitivity (BeS) (medical monitoring only) + Any illnesses resulting from exposure to toxic substances
Chronic Silicosis as defined in EEOICPA
RECA (Section 5) illnesses

Part B is fairly specific in regards to the type of conditions which qualify.

Part E, on the other hand, can cover pretty much any illness as long as the Depart of Energy determines the toxic exposure to be, “at least as likely as not a significant factor in causing, aggravating or contributing to” the worker’s illness. If you’re confused by the “at least as likely as not” part, don’t worry. We’ll discuss this in more detail on our Part E claims page.

The Part E page also covers resources that can help workers link illnesses and toxic chemicals. Proving a link between chemical exposure and illness has been a constant source of controversy within the program and is one of the most complicated areas of EEOICPA.

Facility Type

Types of covered facilitiesPart BPart EDepartment of Energy (DOE) FacilitiesOther Facility Types

DOE Employees Yes No
DOE Contractors & Subcontractors Yes Yes
Atomic Weapons Employers Yes No
Beryllium Vendors Yes No
RECA Section 5 facilities Yes Yes

To find out the classification of where you worked visit the Department of Energy covered facility database. You’ll be looking for the “Facility Type:” line, which indicates which category the Department of Labor has labeled the facility.

The Facility Type is highlighted in yellow

The Facility Type is highlighted in yellow above

RECA Section 5 facilities refers to the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. This program was created to compensate those who contracted cancer from atmospheric nuclear tests or uranium mining. RECA recipients may also be eligible for EEOICPA.

Other Considerations

Many claimants get confused when submitting claims. Even though Part E will cover any illness linked to a toxic chemical, only Department of Energy contractors, subcontractors, or RECA beneficiaries are eligible for Part E.

Workers who fall under DOE employees, Atomic Weapons Employers, or Beryllium Vendors are frequently frustrated when they submit Part E claims only to realize they aren’t eligible for Part E.

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What to do next?

Hopefully, by reading this you’ve been able to determine your EEOICPA eligibility. Now it’s time to learn about the specifics of each part and start the claims process.

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