Panel approves petition for sick Los Alamos workers

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LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — A federal advisory panel has approved a petition that would pave the way for hundreds of sick Los Alamos workers to get compensation and health care.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall says the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health approved the petition Tuesday granting what is called "Special Exposure Cohort" status to all LANL workers who developed radiation-related cancers while working at the lab between January 1976 and December 1995.

A previous petition covering workers from March 1943 to December 1975 was approved in May of 2007.

If approved by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Congress, workers who qualify will receive a lump sum payment of $150,000 and health care coverage to treat their illnesses.

Petition for Workers OK'd

How does one apply for such benefits?