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February 19, 1973

Black Lung Benefits

Author Affiliations

Appalachian Laboratory Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare Public Health Service Morgantown, WVa

JAMA. 1973;223(8):922. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220080052021

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To the Editor.—  On Sept 30, 1972, a new set of regulations for black lung benefits was published in the Federal Register. The regulations included some interim standards designed to facilitate the more rapid processing of black lung compensation claims. Since that time, the Appalachian Laboratory for Occupational Respiratory Diseases has repeatedly been asked by physicians in the field of industrial medicine and chest diseases what percentage of working miners are eligible to receive black lung benefits under the interim standards. At the present time and until 1973, a miner may qualify for black lung benefits if (1) his chest roentgenogram shows evidence of pneumoconiosis— either simple or complicated; (2) he has worked for 15 years in a coal mine and has sufficient ventilatory impairment to meet the criteria shown in the table published on page 20646 of the Federal Register; and (3) he has certain other respiratory impairments, such