Weekly Feature

2014-09-17 / Letters to the Editor

WNY residents may file claims

From the 1940s through the 1980s, workers in the nuclear weapons industry were exposed to radiation while performing their jobs. This included certain workers at 14 Western New York facilities, including Bliss & Laughlin Steel, Linde Air Products and Linde’s Utica St. Warehouse in Buffalo, Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna as well as locations in Niagara Falls, Tonawanda, Lockport, Rochester and West Valley.

In October 2000, Congress enacted a compensation program for those workers — the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act — which is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. The program provides lump-sum compensation and medical benefits to eligible U.S. Department of Energy nuclear weapons workers, including employees, former employees, contractors and subcontractors. Survivors of qualified workers also may be entitled to benefits.

We believe there are many current and former nuclear weapons workers living in Western New York, who are eligible for monetary compensation and medical benefits, but who have yet to file a claim. We want to inform these individuals about the program and to assist them with obtaining the compensation and medical benefits to which they are entitled.

On Sept. 23 and 25, we will hold town hall meetings in WNY to inform the public of the program and to answer questions. The Sept. 23 meetings will be held at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 1881 Niagara Falls Blvd. in Amherst; the Sept. 25 meetings will begin at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott Brighton, 33 Corporate Woods Drive in Rochester.

We encourage anyone interested in filing a claim or learning more about the EEOICPA to attend these meetings. If you cannot attend, contact our New York Resource Center at 800-941-3943. Information is also available at www.dol.gov/owcp/energy/.

Rachel P. Leiton
Division of Energy
Employees Occupational
Illness Compensation
U.S. Department of Labor

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