To provide benefits to coal miners who have become
totally disabled due to coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP), and to widows and
other surviving dependents of miners who have died of this disease.
TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:
Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use. Place Cursor Here for Definition
USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:
Monthly cash benefits are paid to coal miners disabled
from coal workers' pneumoconiosis and to widows and other survivors of miners
who have died of this disease. There are no restrictions on the use of these
benefits by a beneficiary. Medical payments for treatment related to coal
workers' pneumoconiosis are available to miners only after January 1, 1974.
Applicant Eligibility: The
miner (including some workers involved in coal transportation in and around
mines and coal mine construction workers) must have worked in the Nation's
coal mines or a coal preparation facility and become "totally
disabled" (as defined in the Act) from pneumoconiosis. The applicant may
be able to work in areas other than coal mines and still be eligible for
benefits. Benefits to miner shall be reduced on account of excess earnings as
determined under sections 203(b) through (1) of the Social Security Act for
claims filed on or after January 1, 1982. Widows and other surviving
dependents of coal miners whose death resulted from coal workers'
pneumoconiosis are also eligible for benefits with earnings offsets applicable
to certain classes of dependents. Applicants can reside anywhere in the world
at the time they apply.
Disabled coal miners, widows and other surviving dependents of the deceased.
Medical tests, at Department of Labor expense, which include an x-ray,
pulmonary function study, physical examination, and blood gas tests. Proof of
work in or around a coal mine or coal preparation facility. Also proof of
death, relationship and dependency required for widows and other survivors
applying. Identification of a responsible mine operator is made as specified
in regulations published in the Code of Federal Regulations (20 CFR 725).
Applicants are required to state on the claim form whether a claim for
disability benefits due to the same condition has been filed under any State
or other Federal workers' compensation law. Benefits received as a result of
such a claim could be offset against Federal benefits. This program is
excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Telephone, write-in, or visit the local Social Security Administration or
local Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation district or local office
listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Award Procedure: After
review of the application is completed, the applicant will be notified by
Deadlines: A miner must
file a claim for benefits within 3 years after a medical determination of
total disability due to pneumoconiosis or within 3 years after the date of
enactment of Public Law 95-239, whichever comes later, (Black Lung Benefits
Reform Act of 1977). There are no time limitations for dependent survivors to
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:
From 2 months to 8 months for initial findings depending on availability of
Appeals: Notify Office of
Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), Employment Standards Administration.
The appeal process includes formal hearings, Benefits Review Board
consideration, and review by Federal courts, as appropriate.
Renewals: Not applicable.
Formula and Matching Requirements:
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:
The period of total disability with no monetary limit. Death: Spouse - until
death or remarriage; children - until age 18 or to age 23 if qualified as a
student as defined by the Act unless under a disability as defined in Section
223(d) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 423(d). Employers or their
insurance carriers are required to begin compensation within 30 days of the
initial determination of eligibility. Payments are disbursed on a monthly
POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Reports: Any change in an
eligibility requirement or in a factor affecting the amount of benefits, such
as, State workers' compensation awards, or change in status of a dependent,
must be reported to the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs when it
Obligations: (Benefits) FY
01 $393,177,000; FY 02 est $388,283,000; and FY 03 est $360,371,000.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance:
Basic monthly rate: $518.50 (claimant only). For three or more dependents:
$1,037.00 maximum effective January 2002 (this does not include medical
services). Average monthly benefits payment: $574.30 for February, 2002.
In fiscal year 2001, 3,279 black lung claims were
processed to initial findings and $393,177,000 in benefits were paid to 57,140
claimants. In fiscal year 2002, it is anticipated that 9,600 claims will be
processed to initial findings and $388,283,000 in benefits will be paid to
53,250 claimants. Projected data for fiscal year 2003 are 7,000 claims
processed to initial findings and an estimated $360,371,000 in benefits to be
paid to 49,000 claimants.
REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 20, Parts 410.401 et
seq., 718, 722, 725, 726, and 727. Also, Black Lung Amendments of 1981, 30
U.S.C. 901 et seq. "Black Lung Benefits," Fact Sheet No. ESA 91-14.
Regional or Local Office:
Local Social Security Administration and local Division of Coal Mine Workers'
Compensation district offices are listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation, Office of Workers' Compensation
Programs, Employment Standards Administration, Department of Labor,
Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 693-0046. Contact: James L. DeMarce,