IRA extends black lung funding permanently

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, signed into law by President Biden on August 16, helps to secure federal pneumoconiosis (black lung) benefits for miners with black lung disease and their families.

“Generations of coal miners who sacrificed so much to power our country can rest assured that their benefits are not in jeopardy,” the Department of Labor said in a recent blog pointing to the permanent securing of benefits as a result of the act.

The Inflation Reduction Act permanently extends the excise tax on underground and surface-mined coal, which is the primary source of revenue for the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. Earlier this year, the Department of Labor responded to news reports about the reduced excise tax, which fell by more than 50% on Jan. 1, 2022.

“We recognized that the status of the excise tax and the trust fund may be causing miners stricken with black lung disease, and their families, to feel uncertain about their benefits,” the agency said.

“With the permanent extension of the coal excise tax, President Biden has ended the up and down of short-term, year-to-year extensions, and made a significant investment in the security of the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund for years to come.”

Any miner with questions about benefits through the program can contact the DOL at 800-347-2502 or email [email protected].

Source: Department of Labor