Part E of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) provides for an impairment benefit. While a claim for EEOICPA impairment benefits can be filed at any time, the Department of Labor (DOL) cannot make a determination on an impairment claim until the employee has received a Part E final decision from DOL’s Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation’s (DEEOIC) Final Adjudication Branch (FAB), which concludes that he or she contracted a covered illness due to exposure to a toxic substance at a covered Department of Energy facility or Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Section 5 facility.
A recommended decision issued by one of DEEOIC’s four district offices is not a final decision. All recommended decisions must be reviewed by the FAB for accuracy before a final decision can be issued.
EEOICPA impairment benefits under Part E of the EEOICPA is an award of monetary compensation. An impairment award of monetary compensation for the permanent loss of function of a body part or organ, due to a covered illness under the EEOICPA, as established by medical evidence and measured by percentage points. For each one percent of impairment, $2,500.00 is awarded as monetary compensation.
For each one percent of impairment, $2,500.00 is awarded. If you receive a whole body impairment rating of 10%, then you will receive a lump sum compensation award of $25,000.00 for your impairment.
To determine the percentage of whole body impairment, DOL considers the following:
– Loss of function (whole person);
– Standard applied from the AMA’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Fifth Edition
– Condition has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI)
– Not required if an illness is in a terminal stage.
A claimant may request re-evaluation every two years. A new evaluation may also be requested whenever DOL accepts a new illness that increases a claimant’s impairment.
DOL determines impairment ratings based upon a physician’s evaluation. The evaluation can be performed by a physician of the employee’s choice, or DOL gathers the appropriate tests and has a qualified physician complete an impairment evaluation based on those test results.
You have the right to an impairment evaluation and impairment rating by a physician of your choice.
– Board-certified in the medical specialty relevant to the covered illness; and
– Trained and certified to perform impairment ratings using the AMA’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, or
– Have experience in using the Guides.
* If you need assistance in selecting or obtaining a physician to perform your impairment evaluation contact our EEOICPA Liaison for assistance.
The DEEOIC is responsible for paying for your impairment rating once every two years or as appropriately eligible for an impairment rating under Part E of the EEOICPA.
– Impairment ratings performed by unqualified physicians are not reimbursable.
– All testing performed by your evaluating physician necessary to complete the rating are also paid for by the DEEOIC.
– The DEEOIC is committed to delivering all benefits to eligible claimants.
In addition to an impairment award, benefits under Part E of the EEOICPA can include payment of medical expenses, wage loss benefits, and survivor benefits. The maximum compensation amount for all claims relating to one individual under Part E of the EEOICPA is $250,000.00. However, any medical benefits awarded are in addition to and not included in calculating the $250,000.00 maximum compensation amount.