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Benefits for Uranium Workers

RECA Benefits

PCM Can Help Navigate
the Eligibility Requirements

The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) was established in 1990 and is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice for uranium miners, millers, and ore haulers who have contracted illnesses as a result of their workplace exposure. It provides a lump-sum, tax-free compensation payment for eligible claimants based on proof of employment history and diagnosis of an associated work-related illness.

RECA benefits are also available for individuals who lived in specified areas downwind of the Nevada Test Site, as well as onsite participants at designated atmospheric nuclear testing sites.

More information on RECA’s benefits, eligibility criteria and claim process is below. Depending on a worker’s individual case, he or she may also be eligible for Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Act (EEOICPA) benefits for uranium workers.

RECA provides tax-free one lump-sum, cash compensation for the following groups of individuals who were exposed to uranium:

  1. Uranium workers: Individuals who worked as uranium miners, mill workers, or ore transporters may be eligible for compensation of $100,000.
  2. Onsite participants: Individuals who were present at specified atmospheric nuclear testing sites during designated time periods may be eligible for compensation of $75,000.
  3. Downwinders: Individuals who lived in specified counties downwind of the Nevada Test Site during designated time periods may be eligible for compensation of $50,000.

Uranium workers may also be eligible to receive additional EEOICPA benefits under Part E. These benefits include an additional $50,000 in tax-free compensation plus free health care benefits. Claimants may also be eligible for incremental tax-free compensation totaling up to $250,000, depending on the worker’s level of impairment ($2,500 for each 1% of impairment). This is determined through an evaluation process by a specialized impairment physician. Workers may locate qualified doctors by contacting their local U.S. Department of Labor resource center or the PCM Help Center at 866-387-2123.

Uranium workers should apply for both programs simultaneously to maximize their benefit, even if the approvals are granted at different times. To learn more about RECA or EEOICPA benefits for uranium workers, PCM encourages individuals to contact their local U.S. Department of Labor resource center or the PCM Help Center at 866-387-2123.

In order to qualify for RECA benefits, an individual must meet the criteria for one of the following exposure categories:

Uranium Miners: Individuals employed in uranium mines located in AZ, CO, ID, ND, NM, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, or WY may be eligible. Miners must have been exposed to 40 or more working level months of radiation or worked at least one year during the time period from 1942 to 1971. Eligible diseases include primary lung cancer or certain non-malignant respiratory diseases.

Uranium Mill Workers: Individuals employed in uranium mills located in AZ, CO, ID, ND, NM, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, or WY may be eligible. Millers must have worked at least one year during the time period from 1942 to 1971. Eligible diseases include primary lung cancer, certain non-malignant respiratory diseases, renal cancer, or other chronic renal disease including nephritis and kidney tubal tissue injury.

Ore Transporters: Individuals employed in the transport of uranium ore or vanadium-uranium ore from mines or mills located in AZ, CO, ID, ND, NM, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, or WY may be eligible. Ore transporters must have worked at least one year during the time period from 1942 to 1971. Eligible diseases include primary lung cancer, certain non-malignant respiratory diseases, renal cancer, or other chronic renal diseases including nephritis and kidney tubal tissue injury.

Onsite Participants: Individuals who participated onsite in a test involving the atmospheric detonation of a nuclear device may be eligible. To be eligible, participants must have been present within the boundaries of the Nevada, Pacific, South Atlantic, or Trinity Test Sites during nuclear testing; and afterwards contracted leukemia (other than chronic lymphocytic leukemia), lung cancer, multiple myeloma, lymphomas (other than Hodgkin’s disease), and primary cancer of the thyroid, male or female breast, esophagus, stomach, pharynx, small intestine, pancreas, bile ducts, gall bladder, salivary gland, urinary bladder, brain, colon, ovary, liver, or lung.

Downwinders: Eligible claimants must have lived or worked in one of the specified counties downwind of the Nevada Test Site in AZ, NV, or UT for a period of at least two years during parts of 1951-1958 and 1962. Eligible diagnoses include leukemia (other than chronic lymphocytic leukemia), multiple myeloma, lymphomas (other than Hodgkin’s disease), and primary cancer of the thyroid, breast, esophagus, stomach, pharynx, small intestine, pancreas, bile ducts, gall bladder, salivary gland, urinary bladder, brain, colon, ovary, liver, or lung.

Uranium workers may call the PCM Help Center at 866-387-2123 for further information or assistance navigating the claim filing process.

Individuals who would like to file a claim for RECA benefits can also contact their local U.S. Department of Labor Resource Center. Here workers may also simultaneously file a claim for EEOICPA benefits.

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