(a) Under title IV of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, as amended by the Black Lung Benefits Act of 1972, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act of 1977, the Black Lung Benefits Reform Act of 1977, the Black Lung Benefits Revenue Act of 1977, the Black Lung Benefits Amendments of 1981, and the Black Lung Benefits Revenue Act of 1981, benefits are provided to miners who are totally disabled due to pneumoconiosis and to certain survivors of a miner who died due to or while totally or partially disabled by pneumoconiosis. However, unless the miner was found entitled to benefits as a result of a claim filed prior to January 1, 1982, benefits are payable on survivors' claims filed on or after January 1, 1982, only when the miner's death was due to pneumoconiosis, except where the survivor's entitlement is established pursuant to § 718.306 on a claim filed prior to June 30, 1982. Before the enactment of the Black Lung Benefits Reform Act of 1977, the authority for establishing standards of eligibility for miners and their survivors was placed with the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. These standards were set forth by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in subpart D of part 410 of this title, and adopted by the Secretary of Labor for application to all claims filed with the Secretary of Labor (see 20 CFR 718.2, contained in the 20 CFR, Part 500 to end, edition, revised as of April 1, 1979.) Amendments made to section 402(f) of the Act by the Black Lung Benefits Reform Act of 1977 authorize the Secretary of Labor to establish criteria for determining total or partial disability or death due to pneumoconiosis to be applied in the processing and adjudication of claims filed under part C of title IV of the Act. Section 402(f) of the Act further authorizes the Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, to establish criteria for all appropriate medical tests administered in connection with a claim for benefits. Section 413(b) of the Act authorizes the Secretary of Labor to establish criteria for the techniques to be used to take chest roentgenograms (X-rays) in connection with a claim for benefits under the Act.
(b) The Black Lung Benefits Reform Act of 1977 provided that with respect to a claim filed prior to April 1, 1980, or reviewed under section 435 of the Act, the standards to be applied in the adjudication of such claim shall not be more restrictive than the criteria applicable to a claim filed on June 30, 1973, with the Social Security Administration, whether or not the final disposition of the claim occurs after March 31, 1980. All such claims shall be reviewed under the criteria set forth in part 727 of this title (see 20 CFR 725.4(d)).
Title 20 published on 2012-04-01
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