Legal Professionals and Benefits Counselors

Welcome legal professionals and benefits counselors. The Center of Excellence provides information that addresses the impact of legislation and care coordination for miners in their pursuit of black lung benefits.

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In 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) made changes to the regulations which limited the dust miners breathe while working underground. The Dust Rule (updated again in 2018) reduces the permissible dust level by 25%, closes important loopholes, and provides miners with better information about their working conditions.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) which contains provisions known as the “Byrd Amendments”, automatically entitle many widows to black lung benefits and experienced coal miners suffering from a respiratory disability with a powerful presumption that their disabling breathing problems are due to black lung. In 2001, the major revisions to regulations by the DOL went into effect and simplified black lung benefits litigation. In 2016, the DOL mandated that most medical evidence developed in black lung benefits claims be disclosed to the other parties.

Black Lung Benefits Counseling

View the presentation to learn about the following:

  • The purpose of black lung benefits program
  • Information miners need to know
  • Steps to file a Black Lung claim
  • Additional case studies

Trends and Patterns of Differences in Chronic Respiratory Disease Mortality Among US Counties

Trends and Patterns of Differences in Chronic Respiratory Disease Mortality Among US Counties

Black Lung in the 21st Century: Disease, Law, and Policy

Smith, Evan, Black Lung in the 21st Century: Disease, Law, and Policy. 120 West Virginia Law Review 797 (2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3152733