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Employment — black lung benefits — 15-year presumption

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit

Civil

Employment — black lung benefits — 15-year presumption

The 15-year presumption applies to subsequent claim inquiries.

“There is nothing in any of these sections that precludes the use of the 15-year presumption to show a change in condition. Indeed, these sections specifically mention that the elements of pneumoconiosis and disability causation, respectively, can be established by the 15-year presumption. This point is incorporated in 20 C.F.R. § 718.305. See 20 C.F.R. § 718.202(a)(3) (‘If the presumption[] described in § . . . 718.305. . . [is] applicable, it shall be presumed that the miner is or was suffering from pneumoconiosis.’); 20 C.F.R. § 718.204(c)(2) (‘Except as provided in § 718.305 . . . proof that the miner suffers . . . from a totally disabling respiratory pulmonary impairment . . . shall not, by itself, be sufficient to establish that the miner’s impairment is or was due to pneumoconiosis.’). As the 15-year presumption is now built into the definitions of elements, the 15-year presumption can be used to show a change in condition.”

Affirmed.

11-3637 Consolidation Coal Co. v. OWCP

Petition for Review of a Decision of the Benefits Review Board, United States Department of Labor, Cudahy, J.

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