Summary: H.R.615 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.615. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (01/20/1995)

Black Lung Benefits Act Amendments of 1995 - Amends the Black Lung Benefits Act to provide special procedures for certain pneumoconiosis claims.

Sets forth new standards for evidence in death and total disability claims, especially as to causation by coal mine employment.

Applies such new eligibility standards to: (1) all new claims; and (2) all pending and prior denied claims, after review under new standards.

Provides that all benefits payable under any claim determined under such new eligibility standards shall be paid from the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, which is financed by the coal industry (thus eliminating coal operators as defendants with legal counsel in black lung disability cases).

Sets forth new rules for judicial review of black lung claims.

Requires award of black lung benefits to survivors or dependents of a deceased miner if any of specified conditions is met.

Permits claimants who have had a black lung claim denied to submit an additional claim, without a showing of a material change, for de novo consideration on the merits.

Prohibits the Secretary of Labor from: (1) appealing adverse decisions on black lung claims; or (2) reopening a black lung claim under which benefits were awarded and with respect to which no appeal is pending, unless the Secretary offers reasonable evidence to suspect fraud.

Provides that, when benefits are paid after an initial determination of eligibility, repayment of such benefits will not be required even upon a final determination of ineligibility.

Requires that a miner's widow: (1) not be disqualified from receiving benefits upon remarriage; and (2) be entitled to receive benefits regardless of the length of marriage to the miner.