The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Paducah, Kentucky
Friday, June 08, 2001

Program to assist filing DOE compensation

Meetings will be held in Paducah June 19 to explain the compensation program for current and former Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant workers who became ill because of job-related exposure to hazardous chemicals.

Officials of the U.S. Departments of Labor and Energy will conduct sessions at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Executive Inn.

"This is our first opportunity to meet with workers and explain the law in detail," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, whose agency is in charge of the program. "It's critical that people know how to fill out these forms properly."

She said correct claim forms will speed the process. The government will start accepting claims on July 31 under terms of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.

It pays $150,000 lump-sum compensation and related medical expenses to workers who became seriously ill from exposure to radiation, beryllium or silica while working in DOE nuclear weapons plants.

Some survivors of plant workers also will be eligible for benefits.

DOE's Office of Worker Advocacy will help workers file claims and document employment history.

Paducah is one of 25 sites for informational meetings around the country between now and the end of July.

Other information outlets: on the web; toll-free phone hotline 866-888-3322.