Radiation Exposure Compensation Act: Program Status

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "From 1945 through 1962, the United States conducted a series of above-ground atomic weapons tests as it built up its Cold War nuclear arsenal. Many people who were exposed to radiation resulting from the nuclear weapons development and testing program subsequently developed serious diseases, including various types of cancer. On October 15, 1990, in order to establish a procedure to make partial restitution to these victims for their suffering associated with the radiation exposure, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) was enacted. RECA provided that the Attorney General ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 28, 2005.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "From 1945 through 1962, the United States conducted a series of above-ground atomic weapons tests as it built up its Cold War nuclear arsenal. Many people who were exposed to radiation resulting from the nuclear weapons development and testing program subsequently developed serious diseases, including various types of cancer. On October 15, 1990, in order to establish a procedure to make partial restitution to these victims for their suffering associated with the radiation exposure, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) was enacted. RECA provided that the Attorney General be responsible for processing and adjudicating claims under the act. The Department of Justice (DOJ) established the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program (RECP), which is administered by its Civil Division. RECP began processing claims in April 1992. RECA has been amended several times, including on July 10, 2000, when the RECA Amendments of 2000 were enacted. The amendments of 2000 broadened the scope of eligibility for benefits coverage to include new victim categories and modified the criteria for determining eligibility for compensation. The 2000 amendments also included a mandate that we report to the Congress on DOJ's administration of RECA not later than 18 months after the enactment of the amendments and every 18 months thereafter. We have reported twice previously on DOJ's administration of RECA. In our last report, we identified the potential for a funding shortage in the compensation trust fund. We recommended that the Attorney General consult with the congressional committees of jurisdiction to develop a strategy to address the gap between current funding levels and the amount of funding estimated to be needed to pay claims projected to be approved over the 2003 to 2011 period. This report follows up on our previous recommendation and updates information on the status of the RECA program, including the (1) status of funds available to pay claims and pay program administration costs; (2) status of claims approved, denied, and pending; (3) processing times; and (4) the total of compensation awards."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 28, 2005

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Radiation Exposure Compensation Act: Program Status, text, September 28, 2005; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302859/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.