Dose Reconstruction Production

In the early days of the NIOSH Dose Reconstruction Program, it was not unusual for dose reconstructions to take considerable time (sometimes several years) to complete.

The Department of Labor (DOL) began accepting claim applications on July 31, 2001, and sent the first batch of cases to NIOSH for dose reconstruction on October 11, 2001.

However, the responsibilities given to NIOSH for the compensation program were new to the agency at that time. The infrastructure, rules and regulations, technical documents, and other processes and procedures needed for dose reconstruction were not yet in place.

NIOSH’s dose reconstruction program has matured over time through the development of:

  • more than 250 technical documents (Site Profiles, Technical Basis Documents, and Technical Information Bulletins)

  • efficient methods, tools, and techniques

  • standardization of the methods, procedures, and reports used in dose reconstruction

As a result, the average number of days needed to process dose reconstructions for initial referrals has decreased.

In May 2021, we paused some functions to modernize and secure our data, applications, and systems. The length of time cases have been with DCAS significantly increased when the pause started and peaked in October 2021 (see Figure 1). We have since restored many of the functions put on pause. The processes in place now have steadily reduced the age of our cases.

Age of Cases Since the Pause Began

Graph showing the age of cases since the pause began in May of 2021. The age of cases increased significantly in May and peaked in October of 2021. The processes in place now continue to reduce the age of cases.
Figure 1: Length of time cases were with DCAS since the pause began
This represents the time a case is with DCAS measured from the date the case is received from DOL to the date the draft dose reconstructions are sent to claimants. DCAS goal is to complete dose reconstructions within 5 months of the receipt of the last data required for dose reconstruction. The age of cases increased significantly when the pause started in May of 2021 and peaked in October of that year. The processes in place now have reduced the age of cases steadily to date. 67 of the 76 cases which are older than 12 months and 23 of the 32 cases between 9 and 12 months are not workable, primarily because we are awaiting additional information requested from claimants, DOE, or DOL or pending revision of a technical document.