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Bills Aim to Help Miners with Black Lung and Surviving Family Access Benefits

A painting of boots, a hat and other gear used by coal miners.

Miners with black lung disease face a difficult process to obtain modest benefits, as do their widows. Two bills in Congress aim to help miners with the disease and their bereaved families, including by tying benefit levels to inflation.

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Fighting for Black Lung Benefits for Miners and Families

A woman poses next to her husband with her arm around his shoulders.

Kathryn South’s husband, Mike South, was diagnosed with black lung disease at age 35. As they grappled with his disease, the couple also navigated the arduous legal process to obtain federal black lung benefits, a fight that Kathryn continued even after Mike’s passing.

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Appalachian advocates praise U.S. Senate bill to improve federal support for miners with black lung

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 13, 2022 Contact: Chelsea Barnes, 614-205-6424, chelsea@appvoices.org Rebecca Shelton, 859-893-0543, rshelton@aclc.org Today, five U.S. senators introduced the Black Lung Benefits Improvement Act aimed at improving the benefits process for disabled coal miners and their families. The

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Appalachian Voices celebrates U.S. House committee’s bill to improve black lung benefits

The bill, which was reported from the committee on a party-line vote, proposes changes to the Black Lung Benefits Program that will make it easier for coal miners and their dependents to access the benefits of the program, which include a living stipend and healthcare benefits.

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Bankruptcies Highlight Concerns with Black Lung Benefits Fund

black and white graphic with skeleton wearing miner hat, text reads "black lung kills"

Coal company bankruptcies are putting the federal Black Lung Disability Trust Fund in further jeopardy.

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