SOPHIA - Medical professionals from four agencies are teaming up to help disabled black lung patients with the legal process.
New River Health is hosting a clinic Friday with staff from Bluestone Health Center, Southern West Virginia Health Systems and Rainelle Medical Center.
Staff will be on hand to help miners fill out their Federal Black Lung Applications, which can relieve medical expenses. The application is part of the 1977 Coal Act.
Benefit counselors said the form can be long and complicated. As many as 65 miners received help with the form in Mount Hope last week.
“That's what we're here for, and we can give them help in these claims and guidance to show them what they need to do for their claim to be successful,” Susie Criss told WOAY.
The black lung clinic is set for Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at New River's Sophia location, known as the Gulf Family Practice pharmacy building.
Only miners who can prove they are 100 percent disabled due to black lung can file an application, but staff also welcomes current miners with active claims who need answers.