Support Miners with Black Lung | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Support Miners with Black Lung

In mid-July more than 150 retired coal miners with black lung disease, along with widows and family members, were in Washington, DC, to demand that they not be written off by Congress.

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The Black Lung Bus Trip was organized by many black lung associations and a coalition of supporting organizations, including Appalachian Citizens' Law Center, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, Alliance for Appalachia, Appalachian Voices, BlueGreen Alliance, and others.

ACTION: Call 614-610-1203 to hear a sample message and then be put through to McConnell’s office.

Thanks. Your action helps a lot.

Kentucky miners met with Sen. Mitch McConnell’s office. McConnell’s leadership is key for restoring funding to the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, the federal program that assures miners with black lung disease receive the medical care and compensation they’ve earned.

Will you support Kentucky’s miners and communities by calling Sen. McConnell’s office? Tell him to strengthen funding for the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund!


Rates of black lung disease have hit a 25-year high in Appalachian coal mining states and have reached epidemic levels in coal communities across the nation. One in five veteran working coal miners in Central Appalachia now has this fatal and incurable disease, according to the CDC’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Since 2000, the rate of black lung disease has doubled across the United States.

Miners and their widows who are able to prove that they are disabled from black lung are entitled by law to modest living and medical benefits, after what can be an excruciating legal process that sometimes outlasts the life of the miner. The Black Lung Disability Trust Fund pays for benefits to coal miners and their surviving dependents in cases where the miners’ employer has gone bankrupt or not been found responsible. But because of congressional inaction, this Trust Fund is in jeopardy.

This week’s lobbying effort is to demand that congressional leaders take action to reinstate the fee that supports the Trust Fund. The Trust Fund is more important now than ever, not just because of the sharp resurgence of black lung among coal miners, but because a wave of bankruptcies in the coal industry is allowing more and more coal companies to walk away from their responsibilities.

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