SSR 74-33: SECTION 412(a)(5) (30 U.S.C 901) -- FEDERAL COAL MINE HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT OF 1969, AS AMENDED -- BLACK LUNG BENEFITS -- CONDITIONS FOR ENTITLEMENT FOR SIBLING

20 CFR 410.200ff

SSR 74-33

Where, at the time of his death, a deceased coal miner was survived by a parent who subsequently died but prior to enactment of the 1972 Amendments which provided benefits for parents, brothers, and sisters, held, surviving sibling is not entitled to benefits since deceased miner at the time of his death was survived by a parent even though there is no parent living who could file for such benefits.

D, the claimant, is a surviving dependent sister of a deceased coal miner. At the time of his death the deceased miner was survived by a parent who subsequently died. However, at the time the 1972 Amendments to the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 were enacted providing benefits for parents, brothers, sisters, only his sister was living who could apply for benefits.

The language of the statute is very clear in providing benefits to a surviving brother or sister only if no widow, child, or parent is living at the time of the death of the miner. 30 U.S.C.A. ยง 922(a)(5) provides in pertinent part:

"In the case of the dependent parent or parents of a miner whose death is due to pneumoconiosis, or of a miner who is receiving benefits under this part at the time of his death, or of a miner who was totally disabled by pneumoconiosis at the time of death, and who is not survived at the time of his death by a widow or a child, or in the case of the dependent surviving brother(s) or sister(s) of such miner who is not survived at the time of his death by a widow, child, or parents, benefits shall be paid under this part to such parent(s), or to such brother(s), or sister(s). . . ." (Emphasis added.)

"The legislative history of the 1972 Amendments also clearly states that the statute requires that the rights of potential sibling claimants be determined as of the time of the miner's death. The Senate report (S. Rep. 92-743, 92d Cong., 2d Sess. 29 (1972)) provides in pertinent part that " deceased miner's benefits (may be paid) to surviving dependent parents where at the time of the miner's death there is no surviving widow or child, and where there are no such parents, to surviving dependent brothers or sisters. . . ." (Emphasis added.)

It is, therefore, held that a surviving dependent sibling is entitled to benefits under Title IV of the Federal Coal Miners' Health and Safety Act of 1969, as amended, only in the event there is no surviving widow, child, or parent at the time of the miner's death.


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