Clinic encourages miners to apply for Black Lung benefits - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Clinic encourages miners to apply for Black Lung benefits


PRINCETON (WVVA) -A local Black Lung clinic is encouraging miners to apply for Black Lung benefits.
Tug River Health Association in Gary held an outreach event Monday in Princeton.
The Department of Labor and Black Lung counselors are meeting with miners to see if they qualify for those benefits.
This comes despite budget cuts to Black Lung clinics across the nation.
Miners and counselors say the cuts shouldn't hinder affected people from applying even if they've been turned down before.
Black Lung counselor at Tug River, Tommy Curry, told WVVA, "If they filed before and got turned down, that's not their only chance. They can keep filing."
"Why not be compensated for endangering your life daily, endangering your health daily," said retired minor, Gary Ritchie.
West Virginia legislators have joined Governor Earl Ray Tomblin in fighting the budget cut. The mountain state is getting $500,000 less than they did last year for black lung clinics. They received $1.4 million in 2013 to serve the 8,500 diagnosed with the disease.

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