Energy Employees Compensation: Even with Needed Improvements in Case Processing, Program Structure May Result in Inconsistent Benefit Outcomes

GAO-04-516 Published: May 28, 2004. Publicly Released: May 28, 2004.
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Subtitle D of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 allows the Department of Energy (Energy) to help its contractors' employees file state workers' compensation claims for illnesses determined by a panel of physicians to be caused by exposure to toxic substances while employed at an Energy facility. This report examines the effectiveness of the benefit program under Subtitle D and focuses on four key areas: (1) the number, status, and characteristics of claims filed with Energy; (2) the extent to which Energy policies and procedures help employees file timely claims for these state benefits; (3) the extent to which there will be a "willing payer" of workers' compensation benefits, that is, an insurer that--by order from or agreement with Energy--will not contest these claims; and (4) a framework that could be used for evaluating possible options for changing the program.

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