February 28, 2019
Veterans, VSOs, Veterans Organizations, and veterans advocates may not be aware of a little known compensation available to thousands of veterans. Compensation amounts range from $50,000 - $250,000. Veterans who built and supported nuclear weapons during the Cold War era are entitled to tens of thousands of unclaimed federal dollars.
Starting in 1942, the U.S. Government started to build nuclear weapons in over 355 facilities around the country. Unfortunately, thousands of those workers were exposed to harmful radiation.
The good news is that, under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICPA), veterans or their survivors could qualify for $50,000 to $250,000 in benefits.
Furthermore, tens of thousands of veterans worked for individual contractors and don’t believe they had very many benefits. Again, the good news is that veterans didn’t understand they may have been department of energy employees all along, which makes them eligible for Government benefits.
Jason Bougere with the Department of Justice said millions more dollars sit unclaimed by Cold War military veterans who may not know they should apply for both EEOICPA and the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.
“Especially veterans who might have participated in atmospheric nuclear test — from the Trinity tests of 1945 through the end of 1962," Bougere said.
That area includes the Nevada Testing Sights and the Pacific Proving Grounds.
Jason Bougere said there are some veterans who may not have been properly recorded and documented as workers, but may have certificates or recollection of events that could be corroborated and confirmed for eligibility.
Currently, Congress has placed no eligibility deadline date on filing for EEOICPA, but filing for benefits under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act ends in 2022.
For additional assistance visit a Veterans Service Officer (VSO) or Veterans Organization near you today.
Dennis Kraft, 3/2/19
I was stationed at Aberdeen Proving Grounds Edgewood Arsenal Maryland 1974 - 1978, Nuke site in Pfullendorf, Germany 2nd FA Detachment under 512 Artillery Group, 59th Ordinance Brigade 1978 - 1982, the biggest nuke storage site in the US at Seneca Army Depot, Ramulus, NY 1982 - 1985. Over 10 years I worked with and secured nukes for the US Army. Does this qualify me?
Roger Durant, 2/28/19
Loaded nuclear weapons stored them at old caribou AFB. Loving AFB Maine. Area is now unfit for human habitation. Does that qualify me?
Carl Morris, 2/28/19
I was in nucleur school at Ft. Sill Okl. In 1969 to train on how to arm and disarm a 155 mm artilary shell. Does this mean I get compensation?
Gerard A. Pigeon, 2/28/19
I was at the crossroad operation at Bikini 1 Jul and 25 Jul 1946, I've had seven cancer opration all over my body cancer, plus Astigmatism Cataract both eye's and chronic sinusitisfor over 70 years.
James Cornell, 2/28/19
I worked on board the USS Calirofnia - and handled guard force/security for the weapons.