20 CFR § 725.420 - Initial determinations.

§ 725.420 Initial determinations.

(a) Section 9501(d)(1)(A)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C.) provides that the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund shall begin the payment of benefits on behalf of an operator in any case in which the operator liable for such payments has not commenced payment of such benefits within 30 days after the date of an initial determination of eligibility by the Secretary. For claims filed on or after January 1, 1982, the payment of such interim benefits from the fund is limited to benefits accruing after the date of such initial determination.

(b) Except as provided in § 725.415, after the district director has determined that a claimant is eligible for benefits, on the basis of all evidence submitted by a claimant and operator, and has determined that a hearing will be necessary to resolve the claim, the district director shall in writing so inform the parties and direct the operator to begin the payment of benefits to the claimant in accordance with § 725.522. The date on which this writing is sent to the parties shall be considered the date of initial determination of the claim.

(c) If a notified operator refuses to commence payment of a claim within 30 days from the date on which an initial determination is made under this section, benefits shall be paid by the fund to the claimant in accordance with § 725.522, and the operator shall be liable to the fund, if such operator is determined liable for the claim, for all benefits paid by the fund on behalf of such operator, and, in addition, such penalties and interest as are appropriate.