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News

Time Is Running Out for Downwinders to Apply for Funds

November 19, 2020 by Jessica Gee


Key Takeaways

What?

The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act ends July, 2022.

So What?

Many who were exposed to dangerous radiation during nuclear testing in the 50’s and 60’s may be eligible for compensation.

Now What?

Those who think they or a family member may be eligible should apply for RECA compensation with a member of our RESEP team.


The U.S. conducted nearly 200 nuclear weapons development tests from 1945 to 1962, exposing both workers and area residents to dangerous radiation.

“Downwinders,” those who were exposed to downwind radiation from the Nevada Test Site during the Cold War, have a limited time to apply for funds from the federal government. Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) compensation ends July 2022. Those who think they or a family member may be eligible should submit their RECA claim by April 2022.

What is the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act?

In 1990 Congress passed RECA as an apology to individuals who developed certain cancers and other serious diseases related to nuclear weapons testing and uranium mining. RECA’s scope of coverage was broadened in 2000, which allowed for the development the Radiation Exposure Screening & Education Program (RESEP). RESEP is funded by federal grants from the Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

North Country HealthCare’s RESEP program provides cancer medical screening exams to eligible Downwinders who resided in Coconino, Apache, Navajo, Yavapai, and Gila counties and Mohave county north of the Grand Canyon during the years of 1951-1958 for at least two years, or during the summer of 1962.

RESEP staff can assist clients with filing RECA claims. Eligible applicants may be able to receive up to $100,000. To file a claim, applicants must provide documentation of:

  • A compensable cancer
  • Residence in an eligible area during the specified time period
  • Identification, which may include birth certificates, marriage licenses, etc.
  • RECA claim form

Scheduling a screening

Medical screening exams are available at several North Country clinics. To schedule a screening exam, call 928.522.9427. Screening services include:

  • Physical exam
  • Urine dip test
  • Blood work
  • Stool test

For more information about RESEP or to see if you qualify, email resep@nchcaz.org.

Categories: Company News

12 responses to “Time Is Running Out for Downwinders to Apply for Funds”

  1. My brother passed away from cancer and he was in the area of exposure. Is his wife eligible to apply for the benefits on his behalf? Thank you, Ray Ann Terry

    • Hello Ray Ann! I passed along your comment to an eligibility specialist with our RESEP program. You’re also welcome to call them directly at 928-522-9427. Thank you for reaching out!

    • Hi Carletta, thank you for your comment! I shared your email address with an eligibility specialist here at North Country HealthCare. She should reach out this week. In the meantime, please feel free to call our RESEP office at 928.522.9427. Take care!

  2. My mother was raised in Hurricane and was present during the testing dates. I have been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, is there compensation for second generation cancer patients?

    • Great question! I have forwarded your comment to an eligibility specialist who can better answer your question. She will send you an email shortly. Take care!

  3. I have questions about whether second generation persons with cancer history may qualify. My mother lived in one of the qualifying counties while pregnant with me during that time. Thank you.

    • Thank you for the comment, Leslie! I have forwarded your message to an eligibility specialist. She should email you within a week. Take care!

  4. My Mom has blood cancer; MDS (Myelodysplastic Syndrome). She was receiving weekly blood & plasma transfusions until she was told she had one year to live. She required a bone marrow transplant, which she did (at the age of 71 yrs old). She went to school in Page and Flagstaff during the exposure period, and yet she was told her cancer wasn’t a covered form of cancer?? She was told even with the transplant her chances were only 50% at 71yrs, and without it she was given a year to live. They ran their saving down to nothing due to medical bills, but that cancer didn’t count. It’s a form of Lieukemia, from my understanding, so why is it not valid? Please give any information as to why she was told it wouldn’t be covered.

    • Hi Teri, thank you for your comment! I have forwarded it to an eligibility specialist, who will reach out to you via email. Hope we can answer some of your questions!

  5. I was told that there is a site you can go to and register for future possible qualifying cancers. No one knows when this is going to strike, so not being able to have a registration of some kind seems wrong. Do you know of any such site so that if all of us who were here during the time of downwinders can register to be compensated if we get cancer after they close the files?
    Thank you very much,
    Detta

    • Hello Detta, I have shared your concern with an eligibility specialist. That is a great question! She will reach out to you via email.

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