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Thursday, February 20, 2003
Doe Illness Claim Center In Bay Area In March

Current and former U.S. Department of Energy workers and contractors interested in filing claims for medical assistance for illnesses due to radiation, silica or beryllium exposure at work will have an opportunity next month to get their questions answered.

A joint DOE -U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Traveling Resource Center will return to the East Bay Nov. 18 and 19, and also Jan. 20-21 and March 23-24, 2004. Representatives will be on hand to assist individuals with claims under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. The Resource Center will return in May at a location and date to be determined.

Workers who need help filling out claim forms can schedule appointments at the Traveling Resource Center by calling toll-free, (866) 697-0841, or drop in during office hours (8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.) at the following location: Four Points Hotel by Sheraton, 5115 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton.

The act became effective on July 31, 2001 and provides two different types of assistance. Eligibility and benefits differ in each program. The DOL administers the program that provides a lump sum of up to $150,000 and payment of future medical expenses to current and former DOE employees and DOE contractor employees who suffer from specific diseases - radiogenic cancers, beryllium disease and chronic silicosis. Qualified survivors of covered employees, including adult children, are also eligible for benefits.

The DOE program helps DOE contractor employees apply for State workers' compensation benefits, if it is determined by an independent physician's panel that the worker sustained an illness caused by exposure to a toxic substance at a DOE facility. Benefits for successful claimants vary from state to state, but are generally a portion of lost wages plus reimbursement of medical costs.

Several facilities in this area have been designated by DOE as locations for prospective worker claims -- Berkeley Lab, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories, and Stanford Linear and Accelerator Center.

Additionally, 17 beryllium vendor facilities were recently added to the covered facilities list. These include City Tool and Die Manufacturing in Santa Clara, C.L. Hann Industries in San Jose, EDM Exotics in Hayward, Electrofusion and Poltech Precision in Fremont, Hafer Tool in Oakland, Hexcel Products in Berkeley, Jerry Carroll Machining in San Carlos, Pleasanton Tool and Manufacturing, Robin Materials in Mountain View, Ron Witherspoon, Inc., in Campbell, and Tapemation in Scotts Valley.

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