The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) and the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) are federal programs that were created to compensate nuclear weapons workers and other people who were exposed to dangerous toxins as a result of weapons testing or uranium production. Through these federal programs, qualified beneficiaries may be eligible to receive free home healthcare services.
In order to receive home healthcare benefits through EEOICPA or RECA, a patient must have a covered medical condition. Among other conditions, a number of different cancers are covered by these two federal programs. Notably, there are nearly two dozen cancers that are specified in the laws — meaning it is easier to prove that these cancers are covered under the acts. Though, patients with other cancers that are not specifically listed in EEOICPA or in RECA may still be able to obtain home health benefits through these programs.
EEOICPA: The 22 Specified Cancers
Extensive scientific and medical research has been conducted regarding nuclear weapons testing uranium production and the development of cancer. Based on this research, the EEOICPA established a Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) for certain qualifying employees. With an SEC cancer claim, an applicant is not required to meet the standard causation determination requirements that are mandated for other conditions. Instead, they are held to a lower threshold. Put another way, it is easier to prove that certain cancers are connected to work in the nuclear weapons industry. To meet the SEC application standards, a person must have worked at an SEC site for at least 250 days — there are more than 70 SEC across the country — and they must have developed one of the 22 listed cancers. These cancers are ‘specified’ as being highly likely to be covered conditions under the EEOICPA. The 22 cancers include:
- Primary or secondary cancer of the lungs;
- Primary or secondary bone cancer;
- Primary or secondary renal cancer;
- Primary thyroid cancer;
- Primary breast cancer;
- Primary esophagus cancer;
- Primary stomach cancer;
- Primary pharynx cancer;
- Primary small intestinal cancer;
- Primary pancreatic cancer;
- Primary thyroid cancer;
- Primary bile duct cancer;
- Hepatopancreatic ampulla
- Primary gallbladder cancer;
- Primary urinary bladder cancer;
- Primary salivary gland cancer;
- Primary liver cancer (excluding cases with Cirrhosis or Hepatitis C)
- Primary colon cancer;
- Primary ovary cancer;
- Malignant brain tumors;
- Multiple myeloma; and
- Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
RECA: There Are 19 Specified Cancers
RECA has a similar standard to that of the EEOICPA. Though, with RECA, there are only 19 cancers that are considered to be ‘specified’ medical conditions. These cancers are the same as the ones listed above, with three exceptions: renal cancer, bone cancer, and male/female breast cancer, which are left out of the RECA list.
It should be made clear that the existence of any listed cancer does not automatically mean that an applicant will be approved for benefits under either program. However, it does mean that the odds are higher. Significantly less evidence will be required to prove causation. Still, all RECA/EEOICPA applications must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Unlisted Cancers May Still Be Covered Under EEOICPA or RECA
If you or your loved one has developed cancer, free home healthcare services may be available through the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) or the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) even if the cancer is not one of the conditions listed above. As an example, prostate cancer is not one of the officially listed conditions under either the EEOICPA or under RECA. Still, that does not mean that a person with prostate cancer is barred from seeking benefits through these federal programs. To get coverage, a patient in this position will be required to bring a non-SEC cancer claim. These claims can be somewhat more complicated, but a non-SEC cancer claim can still be a viable path to benefits for an applicant who meets all of the requirements. If you have questions or concerns about filing a non-SEC cancer claim, you should consult with an experienced professional right away.
Learn More About Free Home Healthcare Services For Cancer Patients
At United Energy Workers Healthcare and Four Corners Health Care, we are committed to offering qualified EEOICPA and RECA beneficiaries superior home healthcare services. If you or your loved one is dealing with any type of cancer, our team is prepared to help you explore all available options for no-cost home health services. For additional information on what we can do for you and your family, please do not hesitate to contact our home healthcare professionals today.