FAQs: National Defense Authorization Act
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 (Pub. L. 107-107; Section 3151(b)) and the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (Pub. L. 108-375; Section 3161) made several amendments to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).
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National Defense Authorization Acts for 2002 and 2005
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2002 (NDAA) (Pub. L. 107-107) is a federal law that was enacted to specify that fiscal year’s budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense. Section 3151 of the NDAA made several amendments to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA), as follows:
- Revised the threshold standard for determining if a covered employee has contracted silicosis
- Clarified inclusion of Atomic Weapon Employer (AWE) employees as members of the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC)
- Clarified payment of attorney’s fees
- Clarified who qualifies as survivors and their entitlement to compensation benefits not paid to the covered employee
- Added a technical amendment dealing with certain covered leukemia
- Clarified the effect of EEOICPA on pertinent tort actions filed both before and after the original EEOICPA date of enactment, and subsequent to the date of enactment of the NDAA amendments to EEOICPA
- Required that NIOSH conduct a study on potential health effects of any residual contamination at certain facilities, with the cooperation of the Departments of Energy (DOE) and Labor (DOL), and report to Congress on the study’s results
The Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act of 2005 (NDAA) (Pub. L. 108-375) is a federal law that was enacted to specify that fiscal year’s budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense. Section 3161 of the NDAA made several amendments to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA), as follows:
Changes to Subtitle B of EEOICPA
- The definition of a “covered employee” was expanded to include workers who were employed at atomic weapons employer (AWE) facilities during time periods when NIOSH determined that significant residual contamination existed outside of the period when weapons-related production occurred.
- A radiation dose definition only applicable to the residual contamination periods.
- A time limit of 180 days was established for NIOSH to provide a recommendation to the Advisory Board regarding qualified Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) petitions.
- The time limit Congress has to either approve or deny a class to be added to SEC was reduced from 180 days to 30 days.
Changes to Subtitle D of EEOICPA
- Subtitle D of EEOICPA that was managed by the Department of Energy (DOE) was replaced by Subtitle E which is managed by the Department of Labor (DOL).
Changes to Subtitle E of EEOICPA
- Part E of EEOICPA was created in the place of Subtitle D.
- This program provides federal compensation to covered employees based on the level of impairment and/or wage loss if they develop an occupational illness as a result of exposure to toxic substances at a DOE facility.
- Medical benefits are also available to qualifying employees for treatment and care of the accepted occupational illness.
- Certain survivors of deceased workers are also eligible to receive compensation.
- Part E eligibility was added for uranium workers covered by section 5 of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act managed by the Department of Justice.
Additional information on Subtitle E of EEOICPA can be found on the DOL EEOICP WebsiteExternal.