§ 718.306Presumption of entitlement applicable to certain death claims.
(a) In the case of a miner who died on or before March 1, 1978, who was employed for 25 or more years in one or more coal mines prior to June 30, 1971, the eligible survivors of such miner whose claims have been filed prior to June 30, 1982, shall be entitled to the payment of benefits, unless it is established that at the time of death such miner was not partially or totally disabled due to pneumoconiosis. Eligible survivors shall, upon request, furnish such evidence as is available with respect to the health of the miner at the time of death, and the nature and duration of the miner's coal mine employment.
(b) For the purpose of this section, a miner will be considered to have been “partially disabled” if he or she had reduced ability to engage in work as defined in § 718.204(b).
(c) In order to rebut this presumption the evidence must demonstrate that the miner's ability to perform work as defined in § 718.204(b) was not reduced at the time of his or her death or that the miner did not have pneumoconiosis.
(d) None of the following items, by itself, shall be sufficient to rebut the presumption:
(1) Evidence that a deceased miner was employed in a coal mine at the time of death;
(2) Evidence pertaining to a deceased miner's level of earnings prior to death;
(3) A chest X-ray interpreted as negative for the existence of pneumoconiosis;
(4) A death certificate which makes no mention of pneumoconiosis.
Title 20 published on 2014-04-01
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