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Office of Administrative Law Judges

30 United States Code


§ 921. Regulations and presumptions

  • (a) Promulgation; payment of benefits

    The Secretary shall, in accordance with the provisions of this part, and the regulations promulgated by him under this part, make payments of benefits in respect of total disability of any miner due to pneumoconiosis, and in respect of the death of any miner whose death was due to pneumoconiosis or, except with respect to a claim filed under part C of this subchapter on or after the effective date of the Black Lung Benefits Amendments of 1981, who at the time of his death was totally disabled by pneumoconiosis.

  • (b) Promulgation of standards determining total disability

    The Secretary shall by regulation prescribe standards for determining for purposes of subsection (a) of this section whether a miner is totally disabled due to pneumoconiosis and for determining whether the death of a miner was due to pneumoconiosis. Regulations required by this subsection shall be promulgated and published in the Federal Register at the earliest practicable date after December 30, 1969, and in no event later than the end of the third month following December 1969. Final regulations required for implementation of any amendments to this subchapter shall be promulgated and published in the Federal Register at the earliest practicable date after the date of enactment of such amendments, and in no event later than the end of the fourth month following the month in which such amendments are enacted. Such regulations may be modified or additional regulations promulgated from time to time thereafter.

  • (c) Presumptions

    For purposes of this section -

    • (1) If a miner who is suffering or suffered from pneumoconiosis was employed for ten years or more in one or more coal mines there shall be a rebuttable presumption that his pneumoconiosis arose out of such employment.
    • (2) If a deceased miner was employed for ten years or more in one or more coal mines and died from a respirable disease there shall be a rebuttable presumption that his death was due to pneumoconiosis. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply with respect to claims filed on or after the effective date of the Black Lung Benefits Amendments of 1981.
    • (3) If a miner is suffering or suffered from a chronic dust disease of the lung which (A) when diagnosed by chest roentgenogram, yields one or more large opacities (greater than one centimeter in diameter) and would be classified in category A, B, or C in the International Classification of Radiographs of the Pneumoconioses by the International Labor Organization, (B) when diagnosed by biopsy or autopsy, yields massive lesions in the lung, or (C) when diagnosis is made by other means, would be a condition which could reasonably be expected to yield results described in clause (A) or (B) if diagnosis had been made in the manner prescribed in clause (A) or (B), then there shall be an irrebuttable presumption that he is totally disabled due to pneumoconiosis or that his death was due to pneumoconiosis, or that at the time of his death he was totally disabled by pneumoconiosis. (FOOTNOTE 1) as the case may be.

      (FOOTNOTE 1) So in original. The period probably should be a comma.

    • (4) if (FOOTNOTE 2) a miner was employed for fifteen years or more in one or more underground coal mines, and if there is a chest roentgenogram submitted in connection with such miner's, his widow's, his child's, his parent's, his brother's, his sister's, or his dependent's claim under this subchapter and it is interpreted as negative with respect to the requirements of paragraph (3) of this subsection, and if other evidence demonstrates the existence of a totally disabling respiratory or pulmonary impairment, then there shall be a rebuttable presumption that such miner is totally disabled due to pneumoconiosis, that his death was due to pneumoconiosis, or that at the time of his death he was totally disabled by pneumoconiosis. In the case of a living miner, a wife's affidavit may not be used by itself to establish the presumption. The Secretary shall not apply all or a portion of the requirement of this paragraph that the miner work in an underground mine where he determines that conditions of a miner's employment in a coal mine other than an underground mine were substantially similar to conditions in an underground mine. The Secretary may rebut such presumption only by establishing that
  • (A) such miner does not, or did not, have pneumoconiosis, or that
  • (B) his respiratory or pulmonary impairment did not arise out of, or in connection with, employment in a coal mine. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply with respect to claims filed on or after the effective date of the Black Lung Benefits Amendments of 1981.

    (FOOTNOTE 2) So in original. Probably should be capitalized.

    • (5) In the case of a miner who dies on or before March 1, 1978, who was employed for 25 years or more in one or more coal mines before June 30, 1971, the eligible survivors of such miner shall be entitled to the payment of benefits, at the rate applicable under section 922(a)(2) of this title, unless it is established that at the time of his or her death such miner was not partially or totally disabled due to pneumoconiosis. Eligible survivors shall, upon request by the Secretary, furnish such evidence as is available with respect to the health of the miner at the time of his or her death. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply with respect to claims filed on or after the day that is 180 days after the effective date of the Black Lung Benefits Amendments of 1981.
  • (d) Applicability of presumptions

    Nothing in subsection (c) of this section shall be deemed to affect the applicability of subsection (a) of this section in the case of a claim where the presumptions provided for therein are inapplicable.