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
Percy, Chief of Operational Policy, Analytics & Compliance
Management policies, directives or memos regarding Federal Black Lung claims
(aka Federal Coal Miners’ Pneumoconiosis) that predate the effective date of
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
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
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;
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.