Updated: Oct 6, 2022
If someone you love is dealing with an illness related to exposure to nuclear radiation during our nation’s domestic nuclear testing program, you now have more time to file a claim for compensation.
The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) program was originally set to expire on July 9, 2022, but on June 7, 2022, the President signed into law the RECA Extension Act of 2022. This law extends the termination of the RECA Trust Fund and the filing deadline for all claims for two years from its date of enactment.
RECA was established in 1990 to compensate citizens exposed to radiation from domestic atomic testing. The program divides claimants into three categories:
Onsite Participants, typically military personnel who witnessed the blast and then conducted training in the vicinity of the test site,
Downwinders, people who were present in one of the specified areas near the Nevada Test Site during a period of atmospheric atomic weapons testing, and
Uranium Miners, Millers, and Ore Transporters, people who worked in mining, milling, or transportation of uranium between 1942 and 1971.
All RECA claimants must have contracted one of the medical conditions specified in the statute after possible exposure to ionizing radiation from the detonation of an atomic weapon or after working in the uranium industry.
If a person in one of the three above categories has died, the benefit he or she was entitled to can be paid to surviving family members in the following order of precedence: 1) spouse; 2) children; 3) parents; 4) grandchildren; and 5) grandparents.
Many people are still unaware of their eligibility for the RECA program due to an “oath of secrecy” that was taken by the participants in such programs. Participants in these programs were prevented, under penalty of law, from discussing anything related to the testing program.
If someone you love was a veteran who served from the end of World War II to the early 1970’s, there’s the possibility that he or she is eligible for RECA benefits.
If you would like to discuss your eligibility for this benefit, just give us a call.