OhioBWC - Basics: (Policy library) - File

Policy Name:

Federal Black Lung Claims (aka Coal Miners’ Pneumoconiosis)

Policy #:


Code/Rule Reference:

R.C. 4131.01; R.C. 4131.03; R.C. 4131.05; O.A.C. 4123-21-08; 30 U.S.C.801

Effective Date:



Rick Percy, Chief of Operational Policy, Analytics & Compliance


Claims Policy


All Injury Management policies, directives or memos regarding  Federal Black Lung claims (aka Federal Coal Miners’ Pneumoconiosis) that predate the effective date of this policy.







The purpose of this policy is to ensure that when a coal mine operator has black lung coverage through BWC, BWC provides the coal miner and/or the coal miner’s dependents any benefits required by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).




This policy applies to BWC Field Operations.




B reader: A physician certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as demonstrating proficiency in classifying radiographs of pneumoconiosis.


Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis Fund: A separate state of Ohio compensation fund created pursuant to R.C. 4131.01 to 4131.06, for the payment of compensation and benefits under the Federal Black Lung Benefits Program.  


Federal Black Lung Benefits Program: A federal program administered by the DOL that provides monthly payments and medical benefits to coal miners totally disabled from black lung disease arising from employment in or around the nation's coal mines and to a coal miner's dependent survivors when the coal miner dies due to black lung disease.




A.    It is the policy of BWC to:

1.    Respond to requests from the DOL for workers’ compensation information on a coal miner; and

2.    Respond to notifications of Federal Black Lung claims from the DOL.


B.    When the DOL finds BWC to be the responsible operator on a Federal Black Lung claim and orders compensation:

1.    BWC shall disburse payments to the coal miner or the dependents from the coal workers’ pneumoconiosis fund as the order directs; and

2.    Manage the claim in compliance with DOL requirements.


C.   It is the policy of BWC that BWC may:

1.    Represent the interest of the coal workers’ pneumoconiosis fund in all proceedings pertinent to a contested (controverted) claim; and

2.    Charge the representation expenses it incurs to the coal workers’ pneumoconiosis fund.


D.   It is the policy of BWC that Federal Black Lung claims are not subject to:

1.    Deduction for family support orders;

2.    The provisions for the disabled workers’ relief fund (DWRF); and

3.    Deduction for the purposes of recoupment of overpayment in a BWC state fund claim.


E.    It is the policy of BWC that questions concerning Federal Black Lung claims are directed to the:

1.    U.S. Department of Labor, Columbus, Ohio Black Lung District Office Toll-Free number: 1-800-347-3771; or

2.    BWC Black Lung Office (Special Claims Department)



F.    It is the policy of BWC that all other coal miners’ black lung disease claims that do not fall within the scope of the Federal Black Lung benefits program, are processed in accordance with the Occupational Disease policy.


BWC staff may refer to the corresponding procedure for this policy entitled Federal Black Lung Claims for further guidance.