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U.S. Department of Justice Radiation Exposure Compensation Program Presentation to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services.

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Presentation on theme: "U.S. Department of Justice Radiation Exposure Compensation Program Presentation to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 U.S. Department of Justice Radiation Exposure Compensation Program Presentation to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration ORHP Grantee Partnership Meeting September 1, 2009 Dianne S. Spellberg Acting Assistant Director, Torts Branch

2 Operation CROSSROADS (Shot BAKER), Pacific Test Site From 1945 through 1962, the United States conducted nearly 200 atmospheric nuclear weapons tests. Congress passed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (“RECA”), 42 U.S. C. § 2210 (2006), on October 5, 1990, and later broadened the scope of the Act’s coverage on July 10, RECA

3 Federal Radiation Compensation Network of Interagency Systems DOJ HHS DOD DVA DOL Defense Threat Reduction Agency Radiation Exposure Compensation Program Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program (RESEP) Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP) Offset Calculation for Uniformed Veterans 3 RECA

4 Radiation Exposure Compensation Act 4 RECA

5 Claim Overview Receive Claim Initial Review 60-Day Deficiency Letter: ID Presence NCD Approval Requests: ID Presence Medical Records Declarations Supplemental Material Denial No Response Operation UPSHOT-KNOTHOLE (Shot BADGER), Nevada Test Site RECA

6 RECA Program History July 28, RECA

7 Claims Adjudication (from April 1992 to July 28, 2009) Claim TypePendingApproved$ ApprovedDeniedTotal Downwinder 36413,356$667,770,0003,57417,284 Onsite Participant 531,331$95,238,6391,5622,950 Uranium Miner 1345,105$509,774,5603,0778,314 Uranium Miller 411,247$124,700, ,643 Ore Transporter 2258$25,800, TOTAL 59321,297$1,423,283,1998,66030,550 7 RECA

8 Outreach  Since 1992, consistent outreach efforts to American Southwest  Extensive cooperation with Navajo Nation, Hopi, Yavapai Apache, and other Southwest tribes  FY 2009: Navajo Administrative visit to Shiprock, New Mexico, to assist Office of Navajo Uranium Workers and participate in meeting of Navajo Medicine Man Association; Program staff participated in town hall meetings in Grand Junction, CO, and with Yavapai Apache in Camp Verde, AZ FY 2006FY 2007 FY 2008FY hours 537 hours 768 hours 566 hours 8 RECA

9 Uranium Mining, post-1971 From the United States government was involved in the uranium industry. During a significant portion of this time, 1947 thorough 1966, the government was the sole purchaser of uranium ore. After the termination of the government’s procurement program in 1971, the federal government did not purchase any more uranium. The Act’s coverage, which ends in 1971, is based on the rationale that the government ceased its involvement in the uranium production industry by that time. RECA 9

10 Mohave County, AZ 1990: Congress passed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act –Section 4(b)(1)(C) of the Act: ‘”affected area means, in the State of Arizona, the counties of Coconino, Yavapai, Navajo, Apache, and Gila, and that part of Arizona that is north of the Grand Canyon” 2000: Congress broadened the scope of the Act’s coverage, but inexplicably struck the phrase “and that part of Arizona that is north of the Grand Canyon” 2002: Congress put back the phrase which included “that part of Arizona that is north of the Grand Canyon” as a downwind area At no point has the Act ever covered the part of Mohave County, Arizona, that is south of the Grand Canyon RECA 10

11 Pending Legislation Related to RECA – 111th Congress S. 1342: To include Idaho and Montana as downwind areas. H.R. 1630: To include the Territory of Guam as a downwind area. S. 757/H.R. 1828: To add 10 new compensable diseases for downwinder and onsite participant claimants S. 1342, H.R. 1630, and S. 757/H.R were introduced in the 109th and 110 th Congressional sessions and re-introduced in the 111th Congress. RECA 11

12 Resources and Budget Resources Program staff includes an Assistant Director; 1 Senior Counsel; 2 trial attorneys; 12 paralegals; 1 payment specialist; 1 law clerk; and 3 contractor employees. Budget Monetary awards are paid from the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) Trust Fund. Since FY 2006, the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2005 authorized “mandatory and indefinite” funding for the Program. Also, this legislation directed that the Trust Fund exclusively pay Section 4 claimants (downwinders and on-site participants). RECA Section 5 claimants (uranium miners, millers, and ore transporters) are paid from the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Act Fund. 12 RECA

13 RECA AND EEOICPA PROGRAMS WORKING TOGETHER RECA Operation CASTLE (Shot BRAVO), Pacific Test Site

14 Federal Radiation Compensation Network RECA 14 RECA $100,000 for Uranium Miners EEOICPA Part E Maximum award of $250,000 + medical benefits Part B Additional $50,000 + medical benefits

15 Claim approved under Section 5 of RECA (uranium miners, millers and ore transporters) Within two weeks, RECA Program sends awardees EEOICP information packet: Cover letter FAQs Claim forms Pre-addressed envelope for DOL/Denver DOL sends letter to the RECA Program requesting confirmation of status under RECA Routine Use Notice allows DOJ to release information from RECA files RECA Program sends response to DOL confirming status within 30 days RECA DOJ/DOL Inter-Agency Process 15

16 Part E of EEOICPA requires evaluation of medical and employment records Limited burden on claimants to provide this information to DOL RECA Program provides copies of medical and employment records directly to DOL Medical & Employment Records RECA 16


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