The mission of workers compensation program is to protect the interests of workers who were injured or became ill on the job, or their families, by making timely, appropriate, and accurate decisions on claims and providing prompt payment of benefits to eligible claimants. The role is to work on behalf of the program claimants to ensure that all available worker and facility records and data are provided to the Department of Justice (DOJ) upon request. These records serve as the basis for DOJ to make informed decisions.DOJ views this important function as a moral commitment to thousands of its workers who have dedicated their lives to maintaining the national security and advancing our country in the areas of science and technology.
The energy workers compensation program provides benefits to employees (or their survivors) of the Department of Energy (DOE) and its contractors/subcontractors, who became ill as a result of exposure to radiation and or other toxic substances authorized by the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).
Nine Energy Employee Compensation Resource Centers were opened as a joint initiative of Departments of Labor and Energy. They were staffed and resourced to assist workers and their families with the lodgment of claims. The Department of Energy was to provide exposure data and work documentation. Existing workers compensation programs have failed to provide for the needs of these workers and their families. Federal workers compensation programs have generally not included these workers. Further, because of the long latency periods, the uniqueness of the hazards to which they were exposed, and inadequate exposure data, many of these individuals have been unable to obtain State workers' compensation benefits.
This problem has been exacerbated by the past policy of the Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessors of encouraging and assisting DOE contractors in opposing the claims of workers who sought those benefits. There are currently eleven Resource Centers. To compensate DOE nuclear weapons workers who suffered occupational illnesses as a result of exposure to the unique hazards in building the Nation's nuclear defense, it has been the policy of this Administration to support fair and timely compensation for these workers and their survivors.