Representation for Claims under the Black Lung Benefits Act


The Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA) is one of several federally administered workers’ compensation programs applying to specific classes of workers across the United States. While similar to state workers’ compensation programs in many ways, these special programs are unique, and claims arising under them require counsel from attorneys who are familiar with their specific procedures and processes. Our well-respected workers’ compensation practice at Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe works on cases involving many of these special federal programs. Our attorneys provide compliance and claims counsel and litigation representation for BLBA claims and other special workers’ comp programs to employers in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and throughout the area.


The Black Lung Benefits Act requires operators of coal mines and coal preparation plants to pay medical costs and monthly benefits to any coal miners, transport workers or construction workers who were exposed to coal dust and subsequently died or became totally disabled due to pneumoconiosis, also called black lung disease. Benefits are also available to family members. Much like state workers’ compensation, coal mine operators must either obtain insurance coverage for claims or qualify as self-insured. The federal Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs administers the BLBA.

Black lung benefits can represent a significant outlay of funds for self-insured operators and insurance companies, making claims management and review an important practice. As with other workers’ compensation programs, fault is not a factor. Employers and insurers may, however, desire to litigate whether an employee is in fact totally disabled, was exposed to coal dust or whether claimed medical expenses are related to black lung disease.


Our West Virginia attorneys at Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe have experience with the black lung litigation process and represent coal mine operators and their insurers before administrative law judges, the Benefits Review Board and U.S. courts of appeals. We understand the BLBA and can advise mine operators and other coal-related businesses about the obligations it imposes on them. We can also provide counsel to claims adjustment staff and advise them about how the BLBA and state workers’ compensation systems interact. By providing the counsel necessary to make good decisions regarding BLBA and other special workers’ compensation program claims, our goal is to help our clients reduce their litigation expenses overall while still zealously litigating claims when appropriate.

Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe understands special workers’ compensation programs

Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe assists employers throughout West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky with claims adjustment and litigation under the BLBA and other special workers’ compensation programs. Call us at 304-344-0100 or contact us online to begin a relationship with a law firm that is nationally recognized for experience and quality while remaining dedicated to its community and employees.