The Federal Black Lung Program, administered by the Division of Coal Minne Workers’ Compensation, is a federal program that serves coal miners and their survivors who are currently receiving federal workers’ compensation benefits, or who have filed a claim for benefits. The DCMWC handles all claims filed under the Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA), specifically providing payments to coal miners or their survivors for health problems associated with black lung, or pneumoconiosis. In addition to monthly benefits stipends, the DCMWC also helps surviving coal miners get necessary medical treatment for black lung.
The Federal Black Lung Program also acts as a liaison for other parties involved in black lung litigation or benefits disputes. The agency works with mining companies, their insurance providers and attorneys, to facilitate the distribution of benefits to qualified individuals.
Because payments under the BLBA are often most or all of the monthly income for recipients, the DCMWC works hard to ensure that it has correct contact information, and that recipients are not experiencing challenges receiving payments. The DCMWC will also assist sick workers and their families, helping them find appropriate medical care, working to ensure that they are eligible for prescription pharmaceutical products and have access to home health and pulmonary rehabilitation services, if appropriate. The DCMWC will also monitor medical treatment billing to ensure that the system is not abused, that sick workers are not overcharged or billed for inappropriate or unnecessary services.