Black Lung Plan

With the number of Black Lung cases rising, West Virginia needs to lead the way in helping coal miners at the state level. 

 

Ben Salango is committed to protecting our coal miners from Black Lung and giving them the support they need to combat this disease by supplementing the federal Black Lung Pension Fund. 

 

Salango believes that our coal miners shouldn’t have to battle with coal company lawyers and doctors and government bureaucrats to get the help they deserve. 

 

As governor, Salango will:

 

  • Provide funding for early medical treatment to slow down the progression of Black Lung. 

 

  • Require insurance providers to award 20 weeks of benefits to all miners who have early-stage black lung. This will help them to seek treatment and to prevent the disease from progressing to more complicated forms.

 

  • Require insurance providers to award 25% partial disability to any miner who has progressed to having complicated black lung.

 

  • Make it easier for miners to file a state workers’ compensation case. Currently, if a miner files a claim more than three years after their last coal mine employment, the workers’ compensation insurance company does not have to pay for a black lung exam, unless the miner has already developed your own proof of breathing complications.

 

  • Establish a state Black Lung Pension Fund, similar to SB 144 (2019). It would provide a monthly benefit for pain and suffering to all miners who were exposed to the hazard of coal mine dust inhalation for 10 years. 

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