Downwinders who have experienced the effects of radiation exposure from nuclear weapons testing are entitled by law to receive a lump sum monetary compensation. If you or a loved one was exposed in the 1950s or 1960s, you likely are eligible as a downwinder under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, or RECA. Read on to learn more about what your claim process may involve.
Who Are Downwinders, and What Are Their Health Issues?
Downwinders are people who lived in relatively close proximity, or downwind, from the nuclear weapons test sites in the western United States during the 1950s and 1960s, that have been exposed to dangerous atomic fallout. This fallout has been proven to produce serious short- and long-term illnesses such as radiation sickness, birth defects and a variety of deadly cancers. Fallout can even prove detrimental to the body’s immune system and cause major organ problems, such as cardiovascular disease.
These potentially devastating cancers include:
- Ovarian cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Cancer of the salivary glands
- Cancer of the small bowel or large bowel (colon)
- Brain cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Pancreatic and bile duct cancer
- Breast cancer (female or male)
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
Downwinders who wish to pursue financial compensation must prove that they lived in those areas–or downwind of them, during certain time frames. The center of the radiation exposure is the Nevada Test Site.
Who Is the Eligibility and Financial Compensation for Downwinders?
Downwinders must have been exposed and shown to be susceptible to certain health issues as result of fallout from nuclear weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site and from other sources of atomic radiation. The radiation in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and others contaminated the air, water sources and soil in certain counties in these Western states. People impacted had direct contact with atomic fallout or lived downwind from the testing sites–hence, the name “downwinders.”
With the passage and implementation of RECA in 1990, downwinders and even family members can receive a lump sum cash award of $50,000 each. To qualify, downwinders and family members must have been physically present in the impacted counties in target states during specified times of nuclear testing and fallout–typically during the 1950s and 1960s.
Federal statutes which have resulted from the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act outline residency and medical eligibility requirements. Applicants must present documented proof of adverse health effects as diagnosed and treated by their physicians.
What Is the Claim Process Like?
The National Cancer Benefits Center-Downwinders helps numerous people who were affected by nuclear radiation fallout from the Nevada Test Site and other sources of nuclear contamination. We work closely with individuals on a case-by-case basis to establish residency and medical requirements and obtain documentation necessary to file a RECA downwinder claim.
These claims do take time, but we have a record of high success in obtaining the compensation downwinders and their families are entitled to. While financial remuneration can never make up for damage done through exposure to atomic radiation, it does help ease the burdens carried by the individuals who, through no fault of their own, have adverse health and wellness impacts which last for years.
Downwinders Claims in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and More
Begin your claim process today by completing the Downwinders Radiation Compensation Form here. You may also call the National Cancer Benefits Center–Downwinders at 1 (855) 631-7197. Our highly trained claims representatives will be happy to take your information and help answer your questions.
We look forward to serving you at any of our offices in Arizona, Florida, and Montana.