Administrative Law Keyed to Lawson
Pauley v. BethEnergy Mines, Inc
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The Black Lung Benefits Reform Act (BLBRA) expanded methods by which miners could establish eligibility for benefits for disabilities resulting from pneumoconiosis (black lung disease). The BLBRA authorized DOL to promulgate regulations for processing claims, but they could not be more restrictive than those of the prior agency, HEW. The Secretary of Labor for the DOL established regulations which made it easier for miners to invoke a presumption of the disease, but it also established two rebuttable presumptions for the SSA which arguably made it easier to challenge the claims. The challenged rebuttable presumptions were if the “evidence established that total disability or death of the miner did not arise in whole or in part out of coal mine employment,” or if “the evidence established that the miner does not, or did not, have pneumoconiosis.”
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