Subtitle B of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act, administered by the Department of Labor (Labor), provides eligible workers who developed illnesses from their work, or their survivors, with a onetime total payment of $150,000, and coverage for medical expenses related to the illnesses. For some claims, Labor uses radiation exposure estimates (dose reconstructions) performed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), part of the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to determine if the illness claimed was "as least as likely as not" related to employment at a covered facility. GAO was asked to determine (1) how well Labor's procedures and practices ensure the timely and consistent processing of claims that are not referred to NIOSH for dose reconstruction but are being processed by Labor and (2) how well Labor's and NIOSH's procedures and practices ensure the timely and consistent processing of claims that are referred for dose reconstruction. GAO did not assess the quality of Labor's claims decisions.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Health and Human Services||1. To enhance program management and promote greater transparency with regard to the timeliness of completing dose reconstructions, the Secretary of HHS should direct Center for Disease Control and Prevention officials to establish time frames for completing the remaining site profiles.|