The Black Lung Center at Boone Memorial Hospital has been open just over a year and tested nearly 1,000 miners, several of whom have been awarded their federal black lung benefits.
"Our goal is to help our miners complete their federal black lung paperwork, get them in for testing and help them through the process to hopefully receive their benefits if, in fact, they have black lung disease," said Willie Carte, Director of BMH Pulmonary Rehabilitation and The Black Lung Center.
The Black Lung Center is located on the Boone Memorial Hospital campus in Madison, West Virginia. They hold various outreach events across the State of West Virginia, and may expand to offer additional outreach events to bordering states in the near future.
The next Outreach Event is scheduled for Friday, June 14th. It will be held at the Wharton Community Center in Boone County, WV and is completely free.
“We don’t want our miners or widows to get discouraged," said Carte. That's one reason why we are hosting outreach events across the State of West Virginia...to guide miners through the process.
Pre-registration is recommended. Appointments will be available from 9am-Noon. Walk-ins welcome between Noon to 3pm. To make an appointment call 304-369-8825.
Those attending should bring proof of their coal mining employment: (W-2’s, pay stubs, or employment letters), work history with approximate dates of employment including name and company (NOTE: Do not get social security record due to expense), a certified copy of their marriage certificate, spouse’s social security number and date of birth, copy of divorce decree (if applicable) and copy of birth certificate and Social Security number for self and all dependents.
In addition to helping miners file claims, The Black Lung Center at Boone Memorial Hospital performs B-Read chest x-rays (specific to black lung), spirometry testing to determine breathing capacity, EKG’s, exercise stress tests and a complete physical by a physician. The completion of claims application and the initial testing, as described above, are completely free to the miner.
“We encourage miners to attend one of our upcoming outreach events or simply call our Black Lung Center at 304-369-8825 to set-up an appointment at Boone Memorial. We are happy to help and provide a location, close to home,” concluded Carte.