Built to aid in our defense
Savannah River Site or “SRS” was built in the 1950s on 310 square miles of South Carolina just beside the Savannah River and Georgia border.
To aid in US defense, the Department of Energy contracted E.I. DuPont to build and operate the site for the primary purpose of refining the raw materials used to build nuclear weapons. Today the SRS site serves as an important research ground for nuclear waste cleanup as well as preserving the country’s ability to produce nuclear weapons.
Unfortunately, many of the workers who served our country at SRS were also unknowingly exposed to unsafe levels of radiation and toxic chemicals. The federal government acknowledges over 2000 toxic substances at SRS including traces of Asbestos and Beryllium in many of the buildings. Due to the exposure SRS employees are more likely to develop certain types of cancer and chronic illnesses.
In 2001, President Clinton signed the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation ACT (EEOICPA) granting sick nuclear weapons workers monetary compensation and medical relief. Benefits include up to $400,000 in tax-free compensation and health benefits for related costs.
In 2012, SRS workers were made eligible to file EEOICPA claims as part of the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC). SEC is a designation given to specific work sites or groups of workers that allow them to be compensated without having to prove a link between their exposure and illness.
Those who qualify for SEC have a much better chance of a fast and successful EEOICPA claim. Workers can still apply for compensation under the dose reconstruction if they do not meet the SEC criteria.
To qualify for SEC one must have:
- Worked at the Savannah River Site from January 1, 1953, through September 30, 1972, for at least a total of 250 work days. If you accumulated work days at other SEC designated sites or groups those days may also be counted towards the 250 days
- Been diagnosed with one of 22 specified forms of cancer
SRS Retiree Benefits & EEOICPA
Applying and approval for EEOICPA is unrelated to the traditional benefits afforded to Savannah River Site employees. The compensation program is an entitlement enacted by congress that is in addition to any regular benefits SRS retirees receive. If a lump sum is awarded ($150K – $400K), the amount is tax free.
Additionally, medical costs related to a “covered illness” may be covered under EEOICPA. Other medical expenses will need to be handled by your traditional benefits.
Call us: (800) 718-5658
Learn more about EEOICPA in-home health care for Savannah River Site Workers
More information and useful links
- Dept. of Labor – SRS Resource Center
- Savannah River Heritage Foundation
- Savannah River Site Retirees Association
- Savannah River Site Wikipedia Page
- Savannah River Cancer Foundation
- Center for Disease Control SRS Study
- Savannah River Site 50th Anniversary Book (use the red dots to navigate the pages)
- Current Government Website for SRS
- SRS Benefit Payout Statistics