What follows are relevant bills originating from the U.S. House of Representatives (HR) and the U.S. Senate (S) regarding compensation to individuals exposed to government-created radiation during the Cold War era.
If you were exposed to this type of radiation and have suffered from certain cancers or other serious diseases since then, you may have a claim for compensation. At the National Cancer Benefits Center, we can help you discover if you qualify for compensation, and help you obtain it.
S.2798 - Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2021
This bill expands two programs that compensate individuals who were exposed to radiation during certain nuclear testing or uranium mining and subsequently developed medical conditions, including cancers.
First, the bill expands and extends a program that compensates individuals who were exposed to radiation from atmospheric nuclear testing or other sources and subsequently developed specified cancers. Under current law, this program compensates individuals who were present in a designated geographic area during a period of nuclear testing and certain individuals employed in uranium mining. The bill
- expands the designated areas to include Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, and Guam and additional areas in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah;
- makes more individuals who worked in uranium mining eligible for the program;
- increases the amount of compensation awarded to and provides medical benefits for eligible claimants; and
- extends for 19 years following the bill's enactment the fund that supports this program and the statute of limitations for filing claims (currently, the program terminates on July 10, 2022).
Second, the bill makes certain individuals employed in uranium mines or mills eligible for a program that compensates workers, including Department of Energy employees and contractors, for illnesses caused by occupational exposure to radiation and hazardous substances during development and testing of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile.
The bill also establishes a grant program in the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for institutions of higher education to study the epidemiological impacts of uranium mining and milling among individuals without occupational exposure.
S.2012 - Downwinders Parity Act of 2021
This bill expands a program that compensates individuals who were exposed to radiation from atmospheric nuclear testing and subsequently developed specified cancers.
Under current law, the program compensates, among others, individuals who were present in a designated geographic area during a period of nuclear testing. The bill expands that area to include all parts of Clark County, Nevada, and Mohave County, Arizona. Current law restricts eligibility to certain parts of those counties.
The Department of Justice must report on efforts to inform individuals newly eligible for compensation about the program.
S.2825 - 117th Congress (2021-2022)
Downwinders Act Sponsor: Sen. Lee, Mike [R-UT] (Introduced 09/23/2021)
Committees: Senate - Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Latest Action: Senate - 09/23/2021 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. (All Actions)
Tracker: This bill has the status Introduced
Steps for Status of Legislation:
- Passed House
- Passed Senate
- To President
- Became Law