Black lung disease can strike coal miners, whether on the job or sometime after leaving a coal mine, due to the coal dust miners inhale in their lungs. If you happen to be someone who suffers from black lung disease or if you suspect you may have it, the federal government offers a type of workers’ compensation under the Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA). According to Findlaw, the BLBA provides Kentucky residents with compensation for a number of services and medical treatments.
Travel to a doctor’s office is one such example. If you want to take a trip to a doctor’s office or a clinic, or perhaps a different medical facility, your travel expenses will be covered so long as the trip to and from your destination does not exceed two hundred miles. The BLBA also comes into play if you need emergency care, as ambulance trips to a hospital for emergency care related to acute black lung disease are also covered.
Federal law also covers the actual care of your black lung condition. If you suspect you have black lung disease, doctor’s consultations, doctor’s office visits and hospital visits can be covered. You can also seek visits to the emergency room for acute problems resulting from your black lung disease. Chest x-rays and lab tests should also be compensated for, as well other hospital charges that relate to your condition. Federal law will also take care of drugs prescribed to you, either brand name drugs or generic ones, provided they are approved by the Federal Black Lung Program.
It’s important to remember that you are likely to receive compensation so long as your expenses relate to black lung disease. The BLBA does not cover medical treatments or medicine for other problems you may have, nor will it cover treatment for a spouse or another member of the family. Also, while the federal government will compensate you for travel to hospitals and the doctor’s office, it will not take care of travel to and from your pharmacy.
This article is intended to educate readers on black lung disease and workers' compensation and should not be taken as legal advice.