Black Lung Benefits

Bradford Ladner, LLP. Handles Black Lung Benefit Claims

Black lung disease and black lung claims are on the rise again among coal miners. A recent joint investigation by NPR and the Center for Public Integrity found that exposure to coal dust is still high among many miners, and that the rates of black lung disease have doubled in the past 10 years. Despite federal regulations aim to reduce any instances of pneumoconiosis, the formal name for black lung disease, coal miners are still facing significant exposure to coal dust.  Many miners are eligible to apply for black lung benefits because of their exposure to coal dust.

Symptoms of Black Lung

Symptoms of black lung disease include shortness of breath, a chronic cough, and an overproduction of mucus. If you are a coal miner or have been exposed to cold dust, and have symptoms of black lung, you should contact us at Bradford Ladner LLP regarding filing for black lung benefits.  We can assist you in obtaining the necessary medical testing for black lung disease and help you in deciding whether to pursue a claim for black lung benefits.

The Black Lung Benefits Act

The Black Lung Benefits Act provides monthly benefits to coal miners who are totally disabled by black lung disease caused by working in the coal mining industry. “Totally disabled” means you are unable to perform the work you did as a coal miner because breathing coal mine dust has permanently impaired your ability to breathe normally. You may also receive additional benefits for family members who are dependent on you and for the cost of your own medical treatment. A coal mining company which employed you (usually the last company that employed you for a year or more) may be required to pay your benefits if it meets certain requirements under the law. Otherwise, the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund will pay your benefits.

The Department of Labor is required by law to offer you a free pulmonary evaluation to determine if you are eligible for black lung benefits.  You will be provided a list of physicians who can perform this examination. All of these physicians will be located in your state or a bordering state. You will be asked to select a physician you wish to use, within certain limitations. The examination consists of a physical examination by a physician, a chest X-ray, a pulmonary function test, and an arterial blood gas test.

The process for making a claim from black lung benefits is a complex and lengthy process. You need the of a qualified and experienced attorney who knows the legal requirements for obtaining black lung benefits. Youn need an attorney who understands what evidence is necessary to successfully bring your black lung claim. The lawyers at Bradford Ladner LLP have the experience necessary to assist you pursuing black lung benefits.

If you have been diagnosed with black lung disease, or if you are a coal miner who suspects that you may have black lung disease, it is important to know your legal options and to know your rights as to black lung benefits. Talking to an experienced attorney as soon as possible can help you to preserve your legal rights. Call our law firm today to schedule a consultation.