Cancer Victims May Be Qualified to Receive Compensation From the Government

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, or lost a loved one to cancer, are you aware that there are funds available from the government to compensate you? The program, established in 1990, is called the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program, and provides monetary compensation to individuals who contracted certain cancers and other serious diseases following their exposure to radiation released during above-ground atmospheric nuclear weapons tests or, following their occupational exposure to radiation while employed in the uranium industry during the build-up to the Cold War.

Downwinders, or those persons who lived in certain areas around the test sites, are entitled to received $50,000. To qualify as a Downwinder, the claimant must have lived or worked in certain counties in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona for a period of at least two years during the period beginning on January 21, 1951, and ending on October 31, 1958, or, for the period beginning on June 30, 1962, and ending on July 31, 1962.

The counties covered in the State of Utah are Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, Millard, Piute, San Juan, Sevier, Washington, and Wayne; in the State of Nevada, the counties of Eureka, Lander, Lincoln, Nye, White Pine, and that portion of Clark County that consists of townships 13 through 16 at ranges 63 through 71 (which does not include Las Vegas or any of the surrounding suburbs); and in the State of Arizona, the counties of Apache, Coconino, Gila, Navajo, Yavapai, and that part of Arizona that is north of the Grand Canyon in Mohave County.

The Downwinder must have also contracted one of the following specified diseases: leukemia (other than chronic lymphocytic leukemia), multiple myeloma, lymphomas (other than Hodgkin’s disease), and primary cancer of the thyroid, male or female breast, esophagus, stomach, pharynx, small intestine, pancreas, bile ducts, gall bladder, salivary gland, urinary bladder, brain, colon, ovary, or liver (except if cirrhosis or hepatitis B is indicated), or lung.

A Downwinder can file a claim on his or her own behalf, or a family member can file on behalf of a deceased family member if he or she would have qualified of living. There are several categories of claimants, other than a self-filer:

1. Spouse: A spouse can file on behalf of a deceased spouse, even if the living spouse has since remarried. To file on a spouse, you must have been married to him or her for at least one year prior to their death.

2. Parent: A child can file on behalf of a deceased parent if the there is no spouse living that would otherwise qualify to file a claim. You must share the compensation with an living sisters or brothers that you may have, including step-siblings who lived in the same household as the deceased parent.

3. Child: A parent can file on behalf of a deceased child. If both parents of the child are still living, they are entitled to share the compensation equally.

4. Grandparent: A grandchild can file on behalf of a deceased grandparent, but only if there is no living spouse, and no living children of the grandparent. All grandchildren share the compensation equally. A Grandparent may also file on behalf of a deceased grandchild if there is no parent living that is qualified to file a claim.

Onsite Participants are those persons who participated in above-ground nuclear testing or who worked at one of the test sites in Nevada, the Pacific, Trinity or South Atlantic. Those Participants are entitled to receive $75,000 if, after onsite participation, the participant contracted one of the following specified diseases: leukemia (other than chronic lymphocytic leukemia), lung cancer, multiple myeloma, lymphomas (other than Hodgkin’s disease), and primary cancer of the thyroid, male or female breast, esophagus, stomach, pharynx, small intestine, pancreas, bile ducts, gall bladder, salivary gland, urinary bladder, brain, colon, ovary, or liver (except if cirrhosis or hepatitis B is indicated), or lung.

Uranium Workers are entitled to received $100,000. There are three categories of uranium workers, including miners millers, and ore transporters.

1. Uranium Miners. Eligible individuals exposed to 40 or more working level months of radiation, or worked for at least one year in uranium mines located in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, South Dakota, Washington, Utah, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, and Texas at any time during the period beginning on January 1, 1942, and ending on December 31, 1971. Compensable diseases include primary lung cancer and certain nonmalignant respiratory diseases.

2. Uranium Mill Workers. Eligible individuals employed for at least one year in uranium mills located in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, South Dakota, Washington, Utah, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, and Texas at any time during the period beginning on January 1, 1942, and ending on December 31, 1971. Compensable diseases include primary lung cancer, certain nonmalignant respiratory diseases, renal cancer, and other chronic renal disease including nephritis and kidney tubal tissue injury.

3. Ore Transporters. Eligible individuals employed for at least one year transporting uranium ore or vanadium-uranium ore from mines or mills located in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, South Dakota, Washington, Utah, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, and Texas at any time during the period beginning on January 1, 1942, and ending on December 31, 1971. Compensable diseases include primary lung cancer, certain nonmalignant respiratory diseases, renal cancer, and other chronic renal disease including nephritis and kidney tubal tissue injury.

If you or your loved one fall into any of these categories, please contact Laura Taylor, Attorney at Law, to determine how to proceed with filing a claim. Ms. Taylor can be reached at (928) 776-2457.

by Laura J. Taylor

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