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Black Lung Benefits


Black Lung Benefits refers to a federal assistance program that provides financial compensation and medical benefits to coal miners who have developed pneumoconiosis (black lung disease) as a direct result of their occupation. This disease is caused by long-term inhalation of coal dust leading to severe lung conditions. The Black Lung Benefits program is administered by the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs and aims to support affected miners and their families.

Key Takeaways

  1. Black Lung Benefits are granted by The Federal Black Lung Program which provides monthly payments and medical benefits to coal miners totally disabled by pneumoconiosis (black lung) as a result of their work in the coal mines.
  2. Eligible beneficiaries include miners, widows/widowers, and dependents of miners who have suffered or died from complications related to the black lung disease.
  3. Black Lung Benefits are managed by the U.S. Department of Labor, aiming to assist affected individuals and provide financial security and medical support during their hardships.


The term “Black Lung Benefits” is of great importance as it refers to a federally-funded program designed to provide financial assistance and medical benefits to miners suffering from pneumoconiosis or Black Lung Disease.

Pneumoconiosis is a severe respiratory ailment caused by long-term exposure to coal dust, resulting in the deposit of coal particles in the lung tissues, leading to breathing difficulties and other health complications.

By offering vital support to affected miners and their families, the Black Lung Benefits program not only acknowledges the sacrifices and risks miners have taken working in the coal industry but also strives to ease the financial burden associated with essential medical treatments and ongoing care.


The Black Lung Benefits program serves a critical purpose in providing financial assistance and medical support to coal miners suffering from black lung disease, also known as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, and their families. Coal mining has long been an essential industry, but it carries significant risks, as prolonged exposure to coal dust can cause severe lung damage or death. This unique program acknowledges the sacrifices that these miners have made for the nation’s growth and strives to create a safety net for those impacted by the effects of the job.

By offering compensation for disability, ongoing medical treatments, and other expenses associated with the disease, the Black Lung Benefits program is designed to alleviate the financial burdens that coal workers and their dependents may face during an exceptionally challenging time. Moreover, this vital program not only caters to the monetary necessities but also addresses the emotional turmoil faced by the coal mining community. It highlights the importance of the physical well-being of these workers, setting an example for industries plagued by similar occupational hazards.

For many of those who have spent years mining coal, the Black Lung Benefits program serves as a lifeline that supports them and their families as they navigate the uncertain waters of their diagnosis. For some, it means a second chance to live a comfortable life under these circumstances. Ultimately, the program is a testament to the nation’s commitment to its hardworking citizens, providing them with the security and respect they deserve for their invaluable contributions.

Examples of Black Lung Benefits

Black Lung Benefits is a term related to the benefits provided to coal miners and their families under the Black Lung Benefits Act in the United States. These benefits were designed to financially assist coal miners who develop pneumoconiosis (black lung disease) due to the inhalation of coal mine dust during their employment. Here are three real-world examples of Black Lung Benefits:

Medical Coverage: Coal miners suffering from black lung disease may receive medical coverage for their condition-related healthcare expenses, including doctor visits, treatments, and hospitalizations. This medical coverage is part of the black lung benefits provided by the federal government and ensures that affected miners receive proper care for their disease.

Monthly Disability Payments: Another component of the Black Lung Benefits program is the monthly disability payments provided to eligible miners. Miners with black lung disease who meet specific criteria, such as working for some time in coal mines and demonstrating a level of lung impairment related to their employment, may receive monthly benefits to help offset their lost income resulting from the disease’s disabling effects.

Survivor Benefits: The Black Lung Benefits program also extends to the families of deceased coal miners who succumbed to black lung disease. Spouses, surviving dependents, or eligible family members of miners who died from black lung disease may receive monthly survivor benefits. These benefits help to provide financial assistance for the surviving family members who may have depended on the deceased miner’s income.

FAQ: Black Lung Benefits

What are Black Lung Benefits?

Black Lung Benefits are federal benefits provided to coal miners who have been totally disabled by pneumoconiosis, also known as “black lung disease,” which arose out of coal mine employment. These benefits also cover eligible survivors of affected miners.

Who is eligible for Black Lung Benefits?

Coal miners who have worked in one or more coal mines for a qualifying period, are totally disabled due to black lung disease, and whose disability arose from their employment in a coal mine are eligible for Black Lung Benefits. Additionally, eligible survivors of miners who suffered from black lung disease may also be entitled to benefits.

How do I apply for Black Lung Benefits?

To apply for Black Lung Benefits, you will need to complete and submit Form CM-911, the “Miner’s Claim for Benefits,” or Form CM-912, the “Survivor’s Claim for Benefits.” These forms can be obtained from your local Division of Coal Mine Workers’ Compensation (DCMWC) district office or downloaded from their website. Completed forms must be submitted to the DCMWC office nearest to you.

What benefits are provided under the Black Lung Benefits program?

Black Lung Benefits include monthly monetary payments and medical coverage for the treatment of black lung disease. The amount of monthly benefits depends on various factors, such as the number of dependents and the degree of disability. Medical coverage covers the cost of diagnosing and treating black lung disease and its related health conditions.

Are there any requirements for receiving medical benefits?

Yes, to receive medical benefits for black lung disease, a miner must be diagnosed by a qualified physician and adhere to the approved treatment plan. The physician must be approved by the Division of Coal Mine Workers’ Compensation. All medical bills related to the treatment of black lung disease must be submitted to the appropriate DCMWC district office for payment.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis
  • Federal Black Lung Program
  • Respiratory Disability Compensation
  • Black Lung Clinics Program
  • Miners’ Health Surveillance

Sources for More Information