Accessibility Information

Users of assistive technologies such as screen readers should use the following link to activate Accessibility Mode before continuing: Learn more and Activate accessibility mode.

Coal Mine Workers' Compensation

Black Lung
Number: 17.307
Agency: Department of Labor
Office: Office of Workers' Compensation Programs

Program Information 

Program Number/Title (010):
17.307 Coal Mine Workers' Compensation
Federal Agency (030):
Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Department of Labor
Authorization (040):
Black Lung Benefits Act, as amended, 30 U.S.C 901 et seq.
Objectives (050):
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 (060):
DIRECT PAYMENTS WITH UNRESTRICTED USE
Uses and Use Restrictions (070):
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.
Eligibility Requirements (080)
Applicant Eligibility (081):
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.
Beneficiary Eligibility (082):
Disabled coal miners, widows and other surviving dependents of the deceased.
Credentials/Documentation (083):
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 or where the miner had been found to be qualified for Black Lung Benefits 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. 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). This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.
Application and Award Process (090)
Preapplication Coordination (091):
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. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedures (092):
This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. Telephone, write-in, or visit the local Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation district or local office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Award Procedure (093):
After review of the application is completed, the applicant will be notified by mail.
Deadlines (094):
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time (095):
From 2 months to 8 months for proposed decisions and orders depending on availability of supporting evidence. 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 file claims.
Appeals (096):
Notify Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP). The appeal process includes de novo formal hearings before the Office of Administrative Law Judges, review by the Benefits Review Board, Federal courts of Appeal, and U.S. Supreme Court.
Renewals (097):
Not Applicable.
Assistance Consideration (100)
Formula and Matching Requirements (101):
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance (102):
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. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Payments are disbursed on a monthly basis.
Post Assistance Requirements (110)
Reports (111):
Not Applicable.
Audits (112):
Not Applicable.
Records (113):
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 occurs.
Financial Information (120)
Obligations (122):
(Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use) FY 12 $371,150,542; FY 13 est $347,094,000; and FY 14 est $309,380,000 - These are benefits for both Parts B & C of the program.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance (123):
On January 1, 2010, new monthly rates went into effect for Black Lung benefits that included a 1.5 percent increase over the 2009 benefit amounts. The rates are as follows: PART B MONTHLY BENEFITS RATES (claims approved by the Social Security Administration - payments received around the 3rd of each month): Primary beneficiary: $625.00, Primary beneficiary and one dependent: $938.00, Primary beneficiary and two dependents: $1,094.00, Primary beneficiary and three or more dependents: $1,251.00. PART C BLACK LUNG MONTHLY BENEFIT RATES (claims approved by the Department of Labor - payments received around the 15th of each month): Primary beneficiary: $625.60, Primary beneficiary and one dependent: $938.30, Primary beneficiary and two dependents: $1,094.70, Primary beneficiary and three or more dependents: $1,251.10. Rates are linked to GS salary levels and did not increase in 2013.
Program Accomplishments (130):
Not Applicable.
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature (140):
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 20, Parts 410.401 et seq., 718, 722, 725, and 726. "Black Lung Benefits," Fact Sheet No. ESA 91-14.
Information Contacts (150)
Regional or Local Office (151) :
None. Persons are encouraged to communicate with the district offices of the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation (DCMWC). Contact information is available at the following website: http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dcmwc/blcontac.htm.
Headquarters Office (152):
Steve Breeskin Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20210 Email: DCMWC-PUBLIC@dol.gov Phone: (202) 693-0046.
Website Address (153):
http://www.dol.gov/esa/owcp/dcmwc/index.htm
Examples of Funded Projects (170):
Not Applicable.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals (180):
Not Applicable.