Payout to Hanford, PNNL workers hits $1 billion

By the Tri-City HeraldFebruary 4, 2013 

The total compensation paid to ill Hanford and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory workers or their survivors has reached $1 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The program pays $150,000 for workers who likely developed cancer because of radiation exposure or who developed chronic beryllium disease and up to $250,000 for impairment and wage loss for exposure to hazardous chemicals. Medical costs also are reimbursed.

The program has been paying more claims after eased rules for many cancer cases were approved in 2012 for Hanford workers from July 1972-83. More than 800 pending or previously denied claims for workers with cancer were put on a fast track because of the eased rules.

According to Department of Labor statistics, $851 million has been paid to Hanford workers or their survivors in 5,756 cases. In addition, almost $150 million has been paid to PNNL workers or their survivors in 997 cases.

If workers were employed by Hanford and PNNL, their cases may have been counted twice.

For more information about filing a claim, call the Hanford Resource Center in Richland weekdays at 946-3333 or 888-654-0014.

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