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DOL/OWCP RIN: 1240-AA12 Publication ID: Fall 2022 
Title: Black Lung Benefits Act: Quality Standards for Medical Testing 

The Black Lung Benefits Act provides benefits to miners who are totally disabled due to coal mine employment and to certain miners’ survivors. Determining entitlement necessarily entails evaluating the miner’s physical condition, particularly their respiratory system. These evaluations usually involve medical tests that assess the miner’s respiratory capacity. To ensure testing accuracy, the program regulations set out quality standards for administering and interpreting two commonly used tests: pulmonary function tests and arterial blood gas studies. The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP)  will propose to update the quality standards, which were last amended in 2000, to better reflect current medical technology and practice. OWCP also proposes to update the regulatory criteria used to evaluate the results of these tests.  Finally, OWCP will review the geographic restrictions on the medical facilities and physicians a miner may select for their examination to ensure they are appropriately tailored.

Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 20 CFR 718   
Legal Authority: 30 U.S.C. 901(f)(1)    30 U.S.C. 936   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
Request for Information (RFI)  09/27/2019  84 FR 51073   
RFI Comment Period End  01/27/2020 
NPRM  04/00/2023 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Michael Chance
Director, Division of Coal Mine Workers’ Compensation
Department of Labor
Office of Workers' Compensation Programs
200 Constitution Avenue NW, FP Building, Room C-3520,
Washington, DC 20210
Phone:800 347-2502
Fax:202 693-1395