Coal miners are subjected to numerous job-related dangers. The threat of a potential cave-in and other types of accidents are ever present for these individuals. However, even more dangerous is the threat of contracting black lung and other toxin-induced diseases and infirmities. Black lung, also referred to as pneumoconiosis, can be fatal and severely debilitating. Those who contract the disease are -- in many cases -- completely disabled and unable to work as a result of the infirmity.
There Is No Silver Lining on the Cloud of Black Lung
While there is no silver lining on the cloud of black lung disease, the federal government does offer various benefits to those who have contracted pneumoconiosis as a result of their occupation. The Federal Black Lung Program provides financial support to afflicted individuals to help them pay for medical care. The legislation that allows for these benefits is known as the Black Lung Benefits Act.
Miners who contract black lung and the relatives they leave behind can often qualify to receive disability benefits to help cover their daily living expenses. Those with pneumoconiosis may also be able to get financial assistance to pay for medical costs and treatment related to their disease. The act also provides assistance to pay for home oxygen service, nursing home costs and other medical costs.
When You Want to Apply for Black Lung Benefits
Dealing with illness, whether it is one’s own infirmity or one’s spouse’s, can be one of the hardest things that anyone has to endure. Being unable to work due to that illness and suffering from financial challenges on top of the infirmity only makes matters worse. This is why workers’ compensation and other federal programs are so important to those who are suffering from employment-caused diseases. The legal paperwork and applications required in order to qualify for these kinds of benefits can be difficult to understand, though, so ill workers may want to consider getting the help of a qualified attorney who is familiar with such matters.
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