3 Important Facets Of The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act

The US Congress passed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) in 1990. This important piece of legislation awards a lump sum to people that develop certain diseases due to atmospheric nuclear testing or who were employed in the uranium industries.

RECA allows sufferers to receive financial compensation more quickly and avoid traditional litigation common in the justice system. You may be eligible if you lived or worked in designated places during specific dates. Read on to learn about these three important facets of RECA.

1. RECA Covers Several Groups of Participants

Government-created radiation affects many individuals who lived or worked around the deadly energy waves for several decades between 1942 and 1971. RECA covers the following individuals:

Downwinders. Nevada was host to many nuclear tests both above and below ground. The winds carried the radioactive fallout into several counties throughout Nevada as well as the neighboring states of Utah and Arizona. Downwinders are individuals who lived in those counties that were affected by that radiation.

Onsite Participants. Military, government, and civilian workers present during atmospheric nuclear tests in various locations were also exposed to radiation. Veterans are part of these participants.

Department of Energy Workers. Civilian nuclear workers for the Department of Education (DOE) and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) were exposed to radiation during the course of their work. Contractors and subcontractors can be compensated as well.

Uranium Workers. Individuals that worked in uranium mines in several states as a miner, miller, or transporter were exposed to radiation.

2. RECA Covers Many Diseases From Radiation

Radiation is harmful to human cells and causes a range of diseases in the human body. The severity of diseases depends on whether radiation levels are low or high, as well as the length of exposure time. Fortunately, RECA covers dozens of diseases due to radiation exposure from uranium mines and nuclear tests.

Uranium workers commonly develop lung cancer and other respiratory diseases, like lung fibrosis, silicosis, renal disease, and renal cancer. Atmospheric radiation causes cancer in downwinders and test-site workers, like cancer of the colon, breasts, brain, ovaries, pharynx, thyroid, and stomach.

3. REMA Requires Eligibility

REMA requires participants to meet certain eligibility requirements to make a claim. Those who have a listed disease and fulfilled a specific operation are awarded eligibility. Additionally, those who lived or worked within a certain period of time or within a certain location are eligible. 

Remember, children and grandchildren are considered eligible survivors as well. Talk to an expert who is well-versed in the application process of RECA to see if you have a claim.

Click here for more information on RECA.