Monday, October 08, 2001

Program will help Fernald workers file claims




By Tim Bonfield
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Workers from Fernald and several other Tristate companies who were injured producing nuclear weapons during the Cold War can begin filing claims this week for lump sum payments of $150,000 and other benefits.

        Representatives of the En ergy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program will set up a temporary office at the Plantation meeting hall near Harrison, to take claims and answer questions. The office, at 9660 Dry Fork Road, will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Oct. 15, 16, 17 and 18.

        The sessions are the result of a federal law that took effect July 31. Congress passed the Energy Employees Compensation Act in October 2000 after several years of lobbying and debate.

        Workers, including certain vendors and subcontractors, who were injured by radiation, beryllium or silica during their jobs may be eligible for medical benefits and payments of $150,000. Uranium workers may also be eligible for a $50,000 lump sum payment under a different radiation exposure program.

        Surviving spouses and children are eligible for the benefits if the worker has died, said Larry Fout, a case manager for the compensation program.

        Workers from many facilities nationwide can apply for the benefits.

        Sites in the Cincinnati-Dayton region include: the former Fernald uranium-processing plant, Cincinnati Milling Machine Co., Copperweld Steel, GE Aircraft Engines, Herring-Hall Marvin Safe Co., Kettering Lab, University of Cincinnati, Monsanto Chemical Co., the Mound plant, R.W. LeBlond Machine Tool Co., and Vulcan Tool Co.

        Appointments and walk-ins are welcome.

        For claim forms and for more information, call (866) 363-6993 or check the U.S. Department. of Labor Web site at www.dol.gov.

       



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