The Department of Labor announced last week that all former Connecticut Aircraft Nuclear Engine Laboratory (CANEL) workers have now been added to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act’s (EEOICPA) Special Exposure Cohort (SEC).
The EEOICPA provides compensation and medical benefits to employees who became ill as a result of working in the nuclear weapons industry. Survivors of qualified employees may also be entitled to benefits, according to a DOL press release.
An employee who is included in a designated SEC class of employees and who is diagnosed with a specified cancer may receive a presumption of causation under the EEOICPA. The new SEC class of former employees at CANEL includes all Department of Energy, its predecessor agencies, and Energy Department contractors and subcontractors who worked at CANEL in Middletown, Conn., from Jan. 1, 1958, through Dec. 31, 1965.
Additionally, to be eligible for inclusion in an SEC, the employee had to work for a number of workdays aggregating at least 250 occurring either solely under this employment or in combination with workdays within the parameters established for other classes of employees in the SEC.
“It is our goal to educate and inform all former CANEL employees about the new SEC class designation,” said Rachel P. Leiton, director of the Labor Department’s Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC), which administers the EEOICPA. “All potentially eligible CANEL employees should contact the department’s New York Resource Center at 800-941-3943 and file a claim so that they may receive the benefits they are entitled to under the act.”
To date, more than $4.5 billion in compensation and medical benefits has been paid to eligible claimants nationwide under the act. Nearly $880,000 has been paid to former CANEL employees and their survivors.