New 'Special Exposure Cohort' Became Eligible for Federal Benefits, Health Care Assistance in Early January
U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall and Congressmen Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis pressed the U.S. Labor Department to quickly process the claims of Rocky Flats workers aided by a recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' decision. The Department of Health and Human Services' decision, announced in mid-December, made it easier for those who worked at the nuclear weapons production facility to qualify for federal assistance under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness and Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).
"For years, workers at Rocky Flats have struggled to receive the health care and benefits provided under EEOICPA. Thankfully, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius decided to add this class of workers to the [special exposure cohort], allowing the Department of Labor to approve claims from these workers an give them access to the benefits they deserve," the lawmakers wrote in their letter. "This decision took effect January 6, 2014. On behalf of the Rocky Flats workers affected by this decision, we ask the Department of Labor to process these claims as quickly as possible."
The Department of Health and Human Services' December decision allows those who worked at Rocky Flats from 1952 to 1983 to qualify for benefits under a "special exposure cohort status." The new classification will alleviate some of the currently burdensome application processes and speed up access to compensation and treatment for health problems stemming from their service.
To read Udall, Bennet, Perlmutter and Polis' letter, click HERE.