Black lung sufferers get a helping hand

MINERS and veterans in Princeton have received assistance with filing for federal benefits for black lung disease.

Sadie Davidson

Members of the United States Department of Labor met with coal miners this week to offer their help.

Clinics were set up to let miners know they can still apply even if they've been denied previously.

Representatives said coal miners could apply once a year until they had been awarded their benefits.

They also said spouses could receive benefits after miners had died.

The issue of black lung disease is believed to be increasing, especially among young coal miners. The longer working hours are one factor thought to accelerate the conditions.

The National Institution on Health and Safety conducted a study in West Virginia concluded increased working hours per day, has caused the rise in black lung among those who have not been working in mining very long.

The miner’s lungs have less time between shifts, after a 12 hour day, to rid themselves of the toxins and coal ash, before being subjected to them again.

The next department of Labor meeting will be held at Mount Hope Fire Department on April 15 from 9am-3pm (local time).