The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia

Displaying items by tag: black lung disease


Ask your representatives to support the Black Lung Benefits Improvement Act!

Coal miners in Appalachia are getting black lung disease at record rates, even as the amount of coal being mined is declining. It’s past time to make sure they get the care they need.

Because they can no longer work, coal miners who get the disease are promised certain benefits, like health care and a living stipend. But current laws and processes make it incredibly challenging for miners and their families to access those benefits. And the current benefit levels are not even sufficient to support the miners who are out of work because of their illness. 

Pennsylvania Congressman Matt Cartwright and Senator Bob Casey have introduced a bill to make it easier for miners with black lung to access vital healthcare and financial support. Importantly, the bill would also tie benefit levels to inflation. With inflation rising, benefit levels are increasingly inadequate, and this change is needed urgently.

Ask your representatives to support the Black Lung Benefits Improvement Act!

Published in News

Coal miners who contracted black lung disease are at risk of losing their healthcare options as mining companies wind down operations.

Join Appalachian Voices for an online overview of the disease, testimony from the afflicted and potential cures for this blemish on public health.

From Appalachian Voices:

“Rates of black lung are at their highest level in decades, and a wave of bankruptcies have enabled some coal companies to quit paying for healthcare and disability benefits for miners with the disease.

“This means that more and more miners must rely on the federal Black Lung Disability Trust Fund to provide these critical resources. But the small tax coal companies pay to finance the trust fund is in jeopardy. Industry lobbyists and some in Congress want to give coal companies a tax break at the expense of miners, even though the trust fund is already billions of dollars in the red.

“This webinar, at 6 p.m. Aug. 11, will feature a panel of coal miners and other advocates discussing the impacts of black lung disease, the policies that are needed to address this public health crisis, and what you can do to support the miner-led grassroots movement for black lung benefits and healthcare.”

Sign up for the black lung webinar.

Published in Event Archive