AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A home health care service to nuclear defense and uranium workers, such as those who have worked at Pantex, has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor after rule changes by the department could potentially restrict the financial compensation and access to healthcare promised to these workers.
Professional Case Management filed a federal suit against the DOL on Tuesday over the rule changes that govern the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program, saying how a worker can file a claim are illegal and unfair.
The EEOICP aims to help hundreds of thousands of workers who were unknowingly exposed to radiation and other toxic substances while working at nuclear facilities and uranium moves across the country.
This program applies to former Pantex workers who have suffered from exposure to radiation and other toxic materials.
“The EEOICP is a promise to hard-working men and women who built our nuclear defense that our county will take care of them,” said PCM President Greg Austin. “With these proposed rule changes, the Department of Labor is going back on that promise.”
PCM is asking a judge to stop the rule changes until a full trial can happen.
The company said the department’s actions would slow or maybe prevent sick workers or spouses of dead ones from getting federal benefits.
“The people we serve deserve better than that. They are often in need of immediate medical care and, sadly, some could die waiting for the new pre-authorization process to run its course,” said Austin. “For them, healthcare delayed is truly healthcare denied.”
PCM is a parent company of the Cold War Patriots, a community resource and advocacy membership organization to help nuclear defense and uranium workers and their families receive compensation and the healthcare they have earned.
The suit was filed in The United States District Court, District of Colorado on March 19 and can be viewed online.