Office of Workers' Compensation Programs March 30, 2012 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Regulations Implementing the Byrd Amendments to the Black Lung Benefits Act: Determining Coal Miners' and Survivors' Entitlement to Benefits
Document Number: 2012-7335
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-03-30
Agency: Department of Labor, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs
This document contains proposed regulations implementing amendments to the Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA or Act) made by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA amended the BLBA in two ways. First, it revived a rebuttable presumption of total disability or death due to pneumoconiosis for certain claims. Second, it reinstituted derivative entitlement to benefits for certain eligible survivors of coal miners whose lifetime benefit claims were awarded because they were totally disabled due to pneumoconiosis. These survivors need not also prove that the miner died due to coal workers' pneumoconiosis. The proposed rules would clarify how the statutory presumption may be invoked and rebutted and the application and scope of the derivative-survivor-entitlement provision. The proposed rules also eliminate several unnecessary or obsolete provisions.