Posted On: May 8, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Providing Coal Workers Totally Disabled Because of Black Lung Disease with Workers’ Compensation

Black lung disease is the name used to refer to a lung disease that can occur when a person has been inhaling coal dust. There is the progressive massive fibrosis (PMF) kind and the coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP). The latter is common among coal workers.

A coal worker can get CWP from working in a coal mine, mining graphite, milling graphite, loading coal, stowing coal, and making carbon electrodes. The more coal dust you inhale into your lungs, the worse your condition becomes because CWP occurs from an accumulation of dust, which can also lead to chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

At first, however, a coal worker may not exhibit any symptoms. However, as time passes and exposure to coal dust continues, the person’s quality of life may deteriorate, especially if there are complications.

The Black Lung Benefits Act exists to make sure that coal miners that have been totally disabled from black lung disease due to their jobs receive medical benefits and monthly payments. It also provides benefits to survivors of coal miners who have died because they were suffering from pneumoconiosis.

Medical services are provided, included diagnostic testing for miner-claimants to determine whether they have the disease. Workers that qualify for medical coverage can avail of office visits, prescription medications, hospital stays, and other benefits.

Workers that have been exposed to coal mine dust, such as coal miners, certain construction workers, and transportation workers, and their dependents can file work injury claims. For more information, visit the Division of Coal Mine Workers’ Compensation page that can be found on the US Department of Labor’s Web site for more information.

Workers' Compensation, Business.gov

Black Lung Disease, Web MD


Related Web Resources:
Faces of Black Lung, CDC

Compliance Guide to the Black Lung Benefits Act, US Department of Labor, January 2001

Contact Chicago workers' compensation lawyer Steve Malman to discuss your coal miner injury case.

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