H.R.1758 - Reform of Energy Workers Compensation Act108th Congress (2003-2004)
Summary: H.R.1758 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)
Introduced in House (04/10/2003)
Reform of Energy Workers Compensation Act - Amends the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA) to provide for worker compensation benefit payments to contractor employees of the Department of Energy (DOE) who were exposed to toxic substances at DOE facilities. (This new subtitle D replaces the current provisions for DOE assistance to such employees in State workers compensation proceedings.) Requires DOE to review claims and determine causation within specified time limits (with the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) continuing to appoint members of physician review panels for diagnosing such occupational illnesses).
Requires the Secretary of Energy to appoint a Worker Advocacy Advisory Committee to advise on claims procedures and related matters.
Directs the Secretary of Labor, acting as a third-party administrator for DOE, to pay such benefits from the EEOICPA fund for claimants approved by DOE. Requires the Secretaries of Energy and of Labor to ensure that such claims are resolved in a nonadversarial manner.
Revises EEOIPA subtitle B program administration provisions to add as covered illnesses: (1) chronic renal disease, for uranium workers; and (2) lung cancer, among beryllium-related diseases. Revises provisions relating to: (1) a special exposure cohort expansion procedure; (2) the radioepidemiologic model for determining compensation; and (3) additional specified cancers. Provides for coverage of individuals employed by atomic weapons employers or beryllium employees during a period of residual contamination.
Requires the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to report to Congress on its access to information relating to performing radiation dose reconstructions.
Provides administrative assistance for claimants under either subtitle B or D, including administrative relief and proof where medical records are not available, resource centers, and outreach programs. Establishes within the Office of the Secretary of Labor the Office of the Ombudsman for Occupational Illness Compensation, which is to coordinate activities of the Secretaries of Labor, Energy, and HHS under EEOICPA.