Black Lung

 

Miner’s Claim

The Black Lung Benefits Act provides monthly benefits to coal miners who are totally disabled by black lung disease caused by working in the coal mining industry. You may also receive additional benefits for family members who are dependent on you and for the cost of your own medical treatment. A coal mining company that employed you may be required to pay your benefits if it meets certain requirements. Otherwise, the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund will pay your benefits.

 

The first steps for applying for Black Lung benefits typically include:

  • Filling out Form CM-911 (Miner’s Claim for Benefits Under the Black Lung Act), found on the Department of Labor’s website
  • Filling out Form CM-911a (Employment History), found on the Department of Labor’s website

 

Other information you may be required to provide:

  • Copies of marriage certificates
  • Copies of children’s birth or death certificates
  • Copies of proof of enrollment in schools for dependent children
  • A detailed earnings record from the Social Security Administration

 

The next steps are as follows:

  • The Department of Labor (DOL) will contact you to schedule a free complete pulmonary evaluation.
  • The DOL will conduct a preliminary review of your results and either award you benefits or deny your claim. This review is not final.
  • You will receive a “Schedule for the Submission of Additional Evidence,” which explains how to submit additional evidence, your right to obtain medical evidence from your chosen physician and the time limits.
  • You may be asked to attend an “informal conference.”
  • The DOL will issue a “Proposed Decision and Order,” which approves or denies your claim and explains the reasoning for the decision.

 

Survivor’s Claim

The Black Lung Benefits Act provides monthly benefits to eligible surviving family members of coal miners who died due to black lung disease arising out of coal mine employment. You may also receive additional benefits for family members who are dependent on you. A coal mining company that employed the deceased coal miner may be required to pay your benefits if it meets certain requirements. Otherwise, the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund will pay your benefits. If the deceased miner filed a claim that was approved, you are not automatically entitled to benefits.

 

 

The first steps in the process include:

  • Filling out Form CM-912 (“Survivor’s Claim for Benefits Under the Black Lung Act”), found on the Department of Labor’s website
  • Filling out Form CM-911a (Employment History), found on the Department of Labor’s website

 

Other information you may be required to provide:

  • Copies of marriage certificates
  • Copies of children’s birth or death certificates
  • Copies of proof of enrollment in schools for dependent children
  • A detailed earnings record of the miner’s coal mine employment from the Social Security Administration

 

The Department of Labor (DOL) will also ask you to identify all sources of medical information about the miner. This information should include:

  • The names of hospitals where the miner received treatment
  • The names of physicians who treated the miner during his or her life
  • Any other sources of information about the miner’s health or death (including any state or federal award for the miner’s disability or death).

If you obtained an autopsy of the miner, the DOL will need to know the name of the physician who performed it.

 

The next steps are as follows:

  • The DOL will conduct a preliminary review and either award you benefits or deny your claim. This review is not final.
  • You will receive a “Schedule for the Submission of Additional Evidence,” which explains how to submit additional evidence, your right to obtain medical evidence from your chosen physician and the time limits.
  • You may be asked to attend an “informal conference.”
  • The DOL will issue a “Proposed Decision and Order,” which approves or denies your claim and explains the reasoning for the decision.

 

For more information about Black Lung benefits, contact Wolfe Williams and Reynolds or visit dol.gov.