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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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Permanent extension of black lung excise tax gives miners peace of mind

At this May 12, 2022, press conference, leaders from the Black Lung Association launched a statewide campaign for a long-term extension of the black lung excise tax.

Miners with black lung and their advocates scored a huge victory in the recently signed Inflation Reduction Act, which permanently extended the black lung excise tax that supports the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund.

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Confronting Rising Black Lung

Amid an ongoing surge in severe black lung disease among coal miners, federal lawmakers have introduced a number of bills aimed at assisting affected miners and their families. The Inflation Reduction Act shored up funding for benefits, and advocates are pushing for additional measures.

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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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Statement on MSHA enforcement initiative aimed at reducing miners’ overexposure to respirable silica

CONTACT: Dan Radmacher, (540) 798-6683), dan@appvoices.org Yesterday, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced a new enforcement initiative to better protect miners from exposure to dangerous levels of respirable silica dust on the job while the agency continues

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Miners with black lung & families to Manchin: “We’re counting on you, Joe”

CONTACT: Trey Pollard – trey@pollardcommunications.com – 202-904-9187 Dan Radmacher – dan@appvoices.org – (540) 798-6683 CHARLESTON, WV – Today, in front of the West Virginia Coal Miners Memorial in Charleston, leaders from the Black Lung Association launched a new statewide campaign

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Black Lung Advocate Judith Riffe is Making Change (and Quilts) in West Virginia

woman with light blonde hair and glasses holds a quilt square with cutout images of miners, a canary, mining boots, coal and a Bible

Judith Riffe of the Wyoming County Black Lung Association uses her quilt-making talents to fundraise for the chapter and is spearheading the installation of a statue to bring attention to the role of women miners.

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Failure to pass Build Back Better delays key investments for Appalachia; cuts black lung benefits funding

CONTACT: Dan Radmacher, Media Specialist, Appalachian Voices, dan@appvoices.org, (540) 798-6683 WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, President Joe Biden released a statement making clear that the U.S. Senate would head home for the holidays without passing the Build Back Better bill, which

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Black Lung Association asks Sen. Capito to support 10-year extension of black lung excise tax

Black man with gray beard wearing a "Black Lung Kills" t-shirt speaks into a microphone, tears on his face

Members of the Black Lung Association are asking U.S. Sen. Shelly Moore Capito to support a 10-year extension of the Black Lung Excise Tax to shore up funding for black lung benefits.

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