April 7, 2010
Reno, NV – Nevada Senator Harry Reid’s efforts to secure compensation for Nevada Test Site employees who contracted cancer from their work took another step closer to completion this week. Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), sent a letter to Reid recommending that a Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) be established for NTS workers employed at least 250 days from 1963-1992, the years of underground testing.
“Secretary Sebelius’ recommendation is a big step forward in our effort to ensure compensation for Nevada’s Cold War veterans and their families,” Reid said. “Our state’s contribution to America’s security during the Cold War and since is unparalleled and compensation for these heroes is long overdue. I am pleased that the men and women who risked their lives doing this important work will soon be eligible for the expedited compensation process.”
When the SEC status is granted it will result in an expedited compensation process for covered NTS workers. Reid initiated the process in February 2007, when he helped several NTS workers and survivors submit an SEC petition for the underground testing years. Since then, Reid has monitored the petition’s progress, testified on behalf of NTS workers and their families, and written the Advisory Board and governing agencies. In 2006, Reid was instrumental in establishing the above ground testing years from 1951-1962 at the Nevada Test Site as a part of the SEC.
According to the Department of Labor, approximately 1,365 NTS claims may be eligible for compensation under this SEC. Once the Secretary’s recommendation has been transmitted to Congress they have 30 days to act. If Congress does nothing to block it, the SEC is granted.
RenoBruce R. Thompson
Courthouse & Federal Bldg
400 S. Virginia St, Suite 902
Reno, NV 89501
Washington DC522 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Toll Free for Nevadans:
Carson City600 East William St, #304
Carson City, NV 89701
Phone: 775-882-REID (7343)
Las VegasLloyd D. George Building
333 Las Vegas Boulevard
South, Suite 8016
Las Vegas, NV 89101