Almost every coal miner in Virginia has heard of the danger of Black Lung disease. Many might know someone with the disease or suspect they have it as well. And, unfortunately, reports seem to indicate that the disease is once again on the rise.
It is no secret that this disease can have a considerable impact on every aspect of your life. Even so, many miners and former miners worry about how complex the process of recovering benefits is, from obtaining a diagnosis to proving they are eligible for the program.
The process can be complicated, but it can make a big difference in circumstances to recover medical benefits.
What benefits are covered?
Treatment cannot reverse the effects of Black Lung disease. However, it can help to improve your quality of life and manage the symptoms of the disease effectively. Obtaining the proper treatment can be life-changing – but the thought of paying for these services can cause a significant amount of stress for you and your family.
That is why it is critical to understand what kind of benefits you could receive.
According to the Department of Labor, the Federal Black Lung Program can potentially cover a wide range of medical costs related to your condition, including:
- Many types of visits with medical professionals
- Emergency room visits and ambulance rides
- Surgeries and inpatient stays for recovery
- Lab tests, X-rays and scans
- Approved prescription medications
- Pulmonary rehabilitation services
You may also be able to recover the costs of travel to receive treatment as well as vocational rehabilitation services, depending on your circumstances.
What about home medical equipment?
In severe cases of Black Lung disease, medical professionals might prescribe oxygen therapy. This often means individuals need home equipment to deliver oxygen. The costs of oxygen therapy can quickly add up.
However, if you need this therapy for your condition, the Federal Black Lung Program could cover the costs.
An important note: Consider how Black Lung affects you
Black Lung disease impacts everyone differently. One symptom might affect one person severely and hardly appear in another at the same time.
Therefore, it is critical to understand the impacts black lung disease has on your life. Taking note of these individual effects can help determine your eligibility, as well as the treatment you need. It is also helpful to seek experienced legal representation to ensure you obtain the full medical benefits you deserve.