BMH Black Lung Center

Helping our hard-working miners get the compensation they deserve

The Boone Memorial Hospital Black Lung Center specializes in helping miners file for their Federal and State Black Lung claims as well as provide testing. Our exceptional team of pulmonologists and registered respiratory therapists work to ensure patients receive the best care possible.

Black Lung Federal & State Claims Filing Assistance

When you make an appointment at our Black Lung Center or visit a BMH Black Lung Outreach event, a member of the Black Lung Center team will help you complete your federal and/or state black lung application, at no cost to you.

Black Lung Exams

The BMH Black Lung Center can provide the exam required to file for Black Lung benefits. Tests performed include:

  • B-Read Chest X-Ray (specific to black lung)

  • Spirometry Test (breathing capacity)

  • EKG

  • Exercise Stress Test

  • Complete physical by a BMH physician

 What does The Black Lung Center at Boone Memorial Hospital offer?
We help miners file federal black lung claims and perform the federal black lung exam/test.

Can I still be working and file for federal black lung?
Yes, you can still be working in the mines, or anywhere, and still file. However, if you receive federal black lung benefits, and choose to take them, you will be considered disabled and unable to continue working.

What items do I need to file for federal black lung?
You will need the following; Birth certificates and social security cards for all dependents, marriage certificate, divorce decree (if applicable), proof of coal mining employment (W-2’s, pay stubs or employment letters), work history (with approximate dates of employment including name, company and job title, starting with most recent). NOTE: Do not get social security record due to expense.

How many times can I take the federal black lung exam?
You can refile a federal black lung claim and have the exam every thirteen (13) months.

What does a black lung test consist of?
Black lung chest x-ray, breathing test (PFT), EKG, physical with a physician, a resting blood gas, and an exercise blood gas.

How long does it take to complete the black lung test?
About two hours on average.

My spouse passed away; can I still apply for black lung?
Yes, there is a specific form you should complete entitled, “The survivors form for benefits under the black lung benefits act”. This form is available at

I quit working in the mines 20 years ago, can I still file a claim to be tested?
Yes, you can file a federal black lung claim at any time, no matter how long it has been since you last worked.

I wasn’t underground but worked around/in the coal mines; can I still qualify to be tested?
Yes, as long as you worked in or around the coal mines, you can file a claim (surface or underground).

How long does it take to hear something after I file a claim to be able to take the black lung exam/test?
Usually within three to four weeks you will receive a packet in the mail requesting you call to schedule your exam.

If I am awarded federal black lung benefits does it affect my Social Security check for retirement?
If you are drawing a SS check for retirement then black lung benefits do not affect your Social Security.

If I am awarded federal black lung benefits does it affect my Social Security Disability & Insurance?
If you are drawing a Social Security Disability check and insurance, and choose to accept black lung benefits, sometimes your benefits and/or your medical card can be affected. It is on an individual basis. Contact Social Security for details. (

If I am awarded federal black lung benefits while working, can I continue to work?
No. You are considered 100% disabled if awarded and will be unable to continue working.

I received a letter from a Coal Operator/Attorney stating I have 14 days to respond. What should I do?
This is a legal paper deposition from the coal operator’s attorney. Prior to completing any portion of the deposition you should seek legal representation.

Can I draw both State and Federal black lung benefits at the same time? And if so, which should I take first?
You can receive both State and Federal benefits, but not at the same time. Typically, the State pays a lump sum amount or for a limited period of time. Federal benefits are for your lifetime and pass to your spouse upon death. Due to Federal being a lifetime benefit, and State not, it is always wise to take State first, since it will run out. Once the State benefits end, then you can collect the Federal benefits.

The Black Lung Center offers several outreach events annually to help miners complete their federal and state black lung claims. The application and claims assistance service we provide is free of charge. 

Visit our page periodically to view future outreach dates.

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