Black Lung Claims (aka Coal Miners’ Pneumoconiosis)
4131.01; R.C. 4131.03; R.C. 4131.05; O.A.C. 4123-21-08; 30 U.S.C.801
Chief of Operational Policy, Analytics & Compliance
Injury Management policies, directives or memos regarding Federal Black
Lung claims (aka Federal Coal Miners’ Pneumoconiosis) that predate the
effective date of this policy.
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).
policy applies to BWC Field Operations.
physician certified by the National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health
(NIOSH) as demonstrating proficiency in classifying radiographs of pneumoconiosis.
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.
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
A. It is the policy of BWC
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
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
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:
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.