EEOICPA and Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be compensable under Part E of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) if such loss arises as a result of exposure to one or more of the organic solvents listed below in conjunction with employment in at least one of certain specified labor categories during a prescribed timeframe.

To be compensable, all of the following conditions must be satisfied for the employee:

  1. Exposure to certain specific organic solvents for 10 consecutive years;
  2. Verified covered employment within at least one specific job category for a period of 10 consecutive years, completed prior to 1990; and
  3. Diagnosed sensorineural hearing loss in both ears (conductive hearing loss is not known to be linked to toxic substance exposure).

If an employee has a diagnosis of sensorineural hearing loss in both ears, and the employee was exposed to one of the listed chemical solvents, and worked in one of the listed labor categories for the required concurrent and unbroken 10-year period, then the claim can be accepted for the covered illness of hearing loss.

Organic Solvents. Compensable claims for sensorineural hearing loss due to organic solvent exposure must have evidence in the case file that the employee was concurrently exposed to certain specific organic solvents and worked within a certain job category for a consecutive and unbroken period of ten years, completed prior to 1990. Experts have determined that at least one of these organic solvents would likely have been used in covered facilities prior to 1990. Currently, the only organic solvents shown in research literature to contribute to sensorineural hearing loss are the following:

  • Toluene
  • Styrene
  • Xylene
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Methyl Ethyl Ketone
  • Methyl Isobutyl Ketone
  • Ethyl Benzene

(1) Evidence (either from the Site Exposure Matrices or some other, probative source of exposure information) must establish exposure to at least one of the above listed solvents. Exposure to derivatives of the listed solvents does not create a presumption of causation for hearing loss, regardless of labor category or duration of exposure.

To be compensable, the employee must have worked in one of the following labor categories for a continuous 10-year period, completed prior to 1990.

  •  Boilermaker
  • Chemical Operator
  • Chemist
  • Electrician/Electrical Maintenance/Lineman
  • Electroplater/Electroplating Technician
  • Garage/Auto/Equipment Mechanic
  • Guard/Security Officer/Security Patrol Officer (i.e. firearm cleaning activities)
  • Instrument Mechanic/ Instrument technician
  • Janitor
  • Laboratory Analyst/Aide
  • Laboratory Technician/Technologist
  • Lubricator
  • Machinist
  • Maintenance Mechanic
  • Millwright
  • Operator (most any kind)
  • Painter
  • Pipefitter
  • Printer/Reproduction clerk
  • Refrigeration Mechanic/HVAC Mechanic
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Utility Operator

 Claims for other conditions based on exposure to the listed organic solvents must be verified using the Site Exposure Matrices, a medical report from a qualified physician, or review by the National Office (NO) toxicologist.

Other hearing loss claims based on rationalized medical evidence asserting a causative link between covered employment and exposure to other solvents not listed in this Circular should be forwarded to the NO for specialist review.

Claims for hearing loss due to organic solvent exposure where the employee has less than 10 years of employment completed prior to 1990 must likewise be forwarded to the NO for specialist review.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI matter, personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), EEOICPA claim, long or short-term disability, VA disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation.  We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, through Facebook, or through our website.  Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, ChattanoogaKingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.

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Social Security – What happens if I am denied benefits and I do not appeal within 60 days?

You’ll have to start over with a new application — and it may mean that you’ll lose some back benefits. So it’s important to appeal all denials within 60 days. It’s better if you appeal right away so that you get through the bureaucratic denial system faster. The quicker you can get to the hearing stage the better.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI matter, personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), EEOICPA claim, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation.  We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, through Facebook, or through our website.  Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, ChattanoogaKingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.

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Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) Disability

A DISABILITY ANNUITY can be paid for:

Total disability, at any age, if an employee is permanently disabled for all regular work and has at least 10 years (120 months) of creditable railroad service. Employees with 5-9 years (60-119 months) of creditable railroad service, if at least 5 years were performed after 1995, may qualify for tier I only (as defined below) before retirement age on the basis of total disability if they also meet certain social security earnings requirements. An age reduced tier II amount would be payable at age 62.

Occupational disability, at age 60, if an employee has at least 10 years of railroad service or at any age if the employee has at least 20 years (240 months) of service, when the employee is permanently disabled for his or her regular railroad occupation. A “current connection” with the railroad industry is also required for an annuity based on occupational, rather than total, disability.

A 5-month waiting period beginning with the month after the month of the onset of disability is required before any disability annuity payments can begin.

An employee can be in compensated service while filing a disability annuity application as long as the compensated service is not active service and terminates within 90 days from the date of filing. However, in order for a supplemental annuity to be paid by the RRB, or for an eligible spouse to begin receiving annuity payments, a disabled annuitant under full retirement age must relinquish employment rights.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI matter, personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), EEOICPA claim, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation.  We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, through Facebook, or through our website.  Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, ChattanoogaKingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.

 

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John Dreiser Voted Top Attorney in Knoxville!

Once again this year, the attorneys of the Knoxville Bar have voted John Dreiser a “Top Attorney” in several categories.  The current issue of City View Magazine honors John as in the areas of :

  • Social Security Disability;
  • ERISA litigation (long term disability, employee benefits); and
  • Workers’ Compensation.

Since 2007, John has earned recognition from his peers in several areas of practice.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or SSI matter, personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), EEOICPA claim, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation.  We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, through Facebook, or through our website.  Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, ChattanoogaKingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.

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Tony Farmer Named Top Workers Compensation Attorney in 2015!

Congratulations to Tony Farmer to being named once again as a Top Attorney in Knoxville.  The results of polls from local attorneys were recently released in the City View magazine.  This is the eight year in a row this honor has been bestowed upon Tony!

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI matter, personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), EEOICPA claim, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation.  We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, through Facebook, or through our website.  Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, ChattanoogaKingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, Greeneville, Harriman, Dayton, Spring City, and Deer Lodge.

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What is a Welfare Benefit Plan for purposes of ERISA?

An employee welfare benefit plan for purposes of ERISA is a plan that provides medical, surgical, sickness, accident, disability, death, severance, unemployment, vacation, apprenticeship, day care center, scholarship funds, pre-paid legal benefits, or any other benefit described in Section 302 of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, other than pensions on retirement or death and insurance to provide such pensions.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI matter, personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), EEOICPA claim, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation.  We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, through Facebook, or through our website.  Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, ChattanoogaKingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, Greeneville, Harriman, Dayton, Spring City, and Deer Lodge.

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Australian Woman Loses Claim for Compensation for Sex Injury while on work trip

The bureaucrat, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was hospitalized in November 2007 after a glass light fitting above a bed she was having sex in fell onto her face injuring her nose and mouth. The woman also suffered psychological injury.

The woman was visiting a regional office observing the budget review process, meeting regional staff and undertaking training — and staying in a motel room booked by her employer.

According to the court transcript the fitting was pulled from its mount either by the woman or by her acquaintance.

The important test case was brought by Comcare, the government’s insurer, which said it centered on whether the woman was “considered ‘in the course of employment’ for workers’ compensation purposes.”

The ruling, which would have flow-on effects for other compensation cases, shows that in order to be eligible for compensation Australian workers must be “expressly or impliedly induced or encouraged by the employer” to undertake an activity which leads to injury.

There was no suggestion that the sexual activity was work-related.

In addition, the court found the activity was “not an ordinary incident of an overnight stay like showering, sleeping, eating, or returning to the place of residence from a social occasion elsewhere in the vicinity.”

If the light fitting had been faulty however, the woman would have been entitled to compensation since she was at the motel at the encouragement of her employer, the court found.

The woman was originally granted compensation by the Full Bench of the Federal Court in December of last year, a decision the High Court has now reversed.

The case was decided in a 4-1 decision.

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