New Hanford Worker Compensation Could be on the Way - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Hanford Worker Compensation Could be on the Way

RICHLAND, Wash.- Significant changes could be coming in how former Hanford workers are compensated for radiation exposure.

The daughters of a former Hanford worker who they say died from exposure are petitioning to get the site Special Exposure Cohort status.

The status would change how compensation is awarded for people who worked on the site between 1942 and 1990.

Right now, former workers with medical problems from exposure have to show that there's a 50% chance or higher that their problems are from exposure.

If the petition is approved, SEC status would wipe this away.

Under the new law, any worker who's developed a variety of 22 different cancers would automatically be eligible for a $150,000 dollar settlement.

Right now, only 496 former workers have received the settlements, but under the petition, that number would go up dramatically.

Only a few other sites nationwide have the status.

Of the more than $2.2 million dollars already awarded nationwide, only about 5% of that's gone to Hanford.