Special Exposure Cohort Employees (SEC)
(For sites with Radiation Contamination Only)
“The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act established a Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) for certain classes of employees. The SEC allows eligible claimants to be compensated without the completion of a NIOSH radiation dose reconstruction or determination of the probability of causation. To qualify for compensation as a member of an SEC class, a covered employee must have at least one of the 22 specified cancers and worked for a specified period of time at one of the SEC work sites.”
So, how does a class of employee get added to the SEC? Well, it all starts a petition to NIOSH.
NIOSH collects petitions, make a determination whether or not the petition meets the minimum requirements, and communicates the decision and the evaluation steps to the Advisory Board and the public.
The Advisory Board’s role considers the petition and the report from NIOSH. They develop another report for the Secretary of HHS (Health and Human Services) with their recommendation.
The Secretary of HHS reviews the report from the Advisory Board, and develops yet another report with their all of the information provided by NIOSH and the Advisory Board, along with their recommendation of whether to approve or deny adding the class to an SEC for Congress.
Finally, Congress reviews the recommended decision. If they do not take any action that effects the recommended decision, it automatically takes effect within 30 calendar days.
When can a Petition be filed?
“If NIOSH has notified the claimant in writing that NIOSH attempted to conduct a dose reconstruction and found that the dose reconstruction cannot be completed because there is insufficient information to estimate the radiation dose with sufficient accuracy;
or a petition is prepared representing a class of employees whose members have or have not filed claims with DOL under The Act. There is no requirement that the members of the class even have yet to be diagnosed with cancer.”
Do we each need to file a Petition?
No. One petition can be used to represent an unlimited number of employees from any facility. The petitioner (up to 3 persons filing) becomes the contact for the entire group. To become a petitioner, you must fall into one of these categories:
One or more DOE, DOE contractor or subcontractor, or AWE employees, who would be included in the proposed class of employees, or their survivors
One or more labor organizations representing or formerly having represented DOE, DOE contractor or subcontractor, or AWE employees, who would be included in the proposed class of employees
One or more individuals or entities authorized in writing by one or more DOE, DOE contractor or subcontractor, or AWE employees, who would be included in the proposed class of employees, or their survivors
A petition was filed prior to 2006 and denied: Read the Dose Reconstruction/Site Profile conducted in 2005 by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) and their team for NIOSH.
Forms are available here: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ocas/faqssec.html#sectimeframes