Radiation Exposure Compensation Program

The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (the Act) offers an apology and monetary compensation to individuals who contracted certain cancers and other serious diseases following exposure to radiation released during above-ground atmospheric nuclear weapons tests or as a result of their employment in the
uranium production industry.


Agency - Department of Justice

The Department of Justice enforces the law and defends the interest of the United States, ensuring public safety against threats foreign and domestic; providing Federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; seeking just punishment for those guilty of unlawful pursuits; and ensuring fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.



Program Accomplishments

In FY 2007, the Program received 1,845 claims and awarded $154.5 million in compensation to 2,272 individuals. In FY 2008, it is estimated that the Program will receive 1,302 claims and award $79.3 million in compensation to 1,130 individuals.

Uses and Use Restrictions

None.



Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

There are five different categories of claimants under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program (the Program): uranium miners, uranium millers, ore transporters, onsite participants, and downwinders.

Uranium miners: Individuals who were exposed to 40 or more working level months of radiation while employed in a uranium mine or who were employed in a uranium mine for at least one year in certain states at any time between January 1, 1942 and December 31, 1971 and who have been diagnosed with a specified compensable disease are eligible for a payment of $100,000.

Uranium millers: Individuals who were employed in a uranium mill for at least one year in certain states at any time between January 1, 1942 and December 31, 1971 and who have been diagnosed with a specified compensable disease are eligible for a payment of $100,000.

Ore transporters: Individuals who were employed in the transport of uranium ore or vanadium-uranium ore from a mine or mill for at least one year in certain states at any time between January 1, 1942 and December 31, 1971 and who have been diagnosed with a specified compensable disease are eligible for a payment of $100,000.

Onsite participants: Individuals who participated onsite in a test involving atmospheric detonation of a nuclear device in certain locations and who have been diagnosed with a specified compensable disease are eligible for a payment of $75,000.

Downwinders: Individuals who were physically present in one of the affected areas downwind of the Nevada Test Site during a period of atmospheric nuclear testing and who have been diagnosed with a specified compensable disease are eligible for a payment of $50,000.

If an eligible individual dies before filing a claim or receiving payment, an eligible surviving beneficiary may file a claim or receive payment.

Beneficiary Eligibility

There are five different categories of claimants under the Program: uranium miners, uranium millers, ore transporters, onsite participants, and downwinders. Uranium miners: Individuals who were exposed to 40 or more working level months of radiation while employed in a uranium mine or who were employed in a uranium mine for at least one year in certain states at any time between January 1, 1942 and December 31, 1971 and who have been diagnosed with a specified compensable disease are eligible for a payment of $100,000. Uranium millers: Individuals who were employed in a uranium mill for at least one year in certain states at any time between January 1, 1942 and December 31, 1971 and who have been diagnosed with a specified compensable disease are eligible for a payment of $100,000. Ore transporters: Individuals who were employed in the transport of uranium ore or vanadium-uranium ore from a mine or mill for at least one year in certain states at any time between January 1, 1942 and December 31, 1971 and who have been diagnosed with a specified compensable disease are eligible for a payment of $100,000. Onsite participants: Individuals who participated onsite in a test involving atmospheric detonation of a nuclear device in certain locations and who have been diagnosed with a specified compensable disease are eligible for a payment of $75,000. Downwinders: Individuals who were physically present in one of the affected areas downwind of the Nevada Test Site during a period of atmospheric nuclear testing and who have been diagnosed with a specified compensable disease are eligible for a payment of $50,000. If an eligible individual dies before filing a claim or receiving payment, an eligible surviving beneficiary may file a claim or receive payment.

Credentials/Documentation

Necessary documentation establishing the eligibility criteria is required when an individual files a claim with the Program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

this program is excluded from coverage under E.O.12372.

Application Procedures

Individuals seeking to file a claim with the Program must submit an appropriate claim form (Radiation Exposure Compensation Program Claim Form, OMB-approved information collection #1105-0052). These claim forms are available on the internet (http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/torts/const/reca/index.htm), by calling the Program (1-800-729-RECP, 1-800-729-7327), by writing to the Program (U.S. Department of Justice Radiation; Exposure Compensation Program; P.O. Box 146; Ben Franklin Station; Washington, D.C. 20044-0146), or by emailing the Program (civil.reca@usdoj.gov). Once claims are submitted to the Program, the Assistant Director within the Constitutional and Specialized Torts Staff, Torts Branch, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice (the Assistant Director) shall review each claim to determine whether the Acts eligibility criteria have been met. The Assistant Director may also request additional information from the claimant. Ultimately, the Assistant Director shall make a decision approving or denying the claim.

Award Procedures

If the Assistant Director approves the claim, the Program notifies the claiming of approval and authorizes payment by the Departments of Treasury or Labor.

Deadlines

A claim will be barred unless the claim is filed within 22 years after enactment of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of Amendments of 2000 (P.L. 106-245), which was enacted on July 10, 2000.

Authorization

Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, Public Law 101-426, 104 Stat. 920, as amended and codified at 42 U.S.C. Section 2210 (note).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The statute requires that the Department of Justice make a determination on each claim not later than 12 months after the claim is filed.

Appeals

An individual wishing to appeal the decision of the Assistant Director may submit a written appeal to the Program. The Program must receive this written appeal within 60 days of the date of the Decision denying the claim. Upon receipt of an appeal, the Program shall forward the appeal, the Decision, the claim, and all supporting documentation to the Appeals Officer for action on the appeal. The Appeals Officer shall review any appeal and other information forwarded by the Program. Within 90 days after the receipt of an appeal, the Appeals Officer shall issue a Memorandum either affirming or reversing the Assistant Directors Decision or, when appropriate, remanding the claim to the Assistant Director for further action. A Memorandum affirming or reversing the Assistant Directors Decision shall be deemed to be the final action of the Department of Justice on the claim. Once the appeals procedures are completed, an individual may seek judicial review in a district court of the United States.

Renewals

None.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Benefits are not length-based. Lump-sum payments of $50,000, $75,000, or $100,000 are provided depending upon the category of claimant.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Not applicable.

Audits

Not applicable.

Records

Not applicable.

Financial Information

Account Identification

15-8116-0-7-054.

Obigations

FY 07 $38,000,000; FY 08 est $31,000,000; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Compensation is determined by statute: Lump-sum payments of $50,000, $75,000, or $100,000 are provided depending upon the category of claimant. When all categories of claimants are combined, in FY 2006, the average award from the Program was $73,077. When all categories of claimants are combined, in FY 2007, the average award from the Program was $68,002.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Claims Under The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, 28 C.F.R. part 79.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Department of Justice, Radiation Exposure Compensation Program, P.O. Box 146; Ben Franklin Station; Washington, D.C. 20044-0146. Telephone: 1-800-729-RECP (1-800-729-7327). Email: civil.reca@usdoj.gov .

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.



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