By Associated Press - Wednesday, March 17, 2021

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has introduced a new bill aimed toward helping the families of miners who die due to black lung disease, which is caused by inhaling coal dust.

The bill would lift some burdens off families who currently need to provide proof that black lung disease was the substantial contributing cause of death in order to access benefits, according to a news release from Manchin‘s office. The benefits were established in a 1972 law and are required to be paid out by coal mining companies or the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund.

Five of his Democratic colleagues unveiled the bill on Tuesday.

Manchin said the bill would “help cut through the bureaucratic red tape that can delay access to benefits, as well as improving access to legal representation for miners and the survivors of miners.”

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