People who worked with nuclear weapons in Iowa and later became sick can find out if they’re eligible for up to 150-thousand dollars in benefits next week at a temporary help center in Burlington. Roberta Mosier is deputy director of the U-S Labor Department’s Energy Program.Individuals who want to apply for benefits can go to the “traveling resource center” for face-to-face help. Claims packets and forms will be available and interviewers will be able to help people fill out all the paperwork. Mosier says they’ll be prepared to handle perhaps hundreds of inquiries from former weapons workers, or their survivors, but she doesn’t really know how many people may apply.Federal officials list -four- facilities in Iowa where nuclear weapons are or were produced: Ames Laboratory in Ames, Bendix Aviation’s Pioneer Division in Davenport, the Iowa Ordnance Plant in Burlington and Titus Metals in Waterloo. There are -no- plans to open a temporary resource center in any of the other cities — only Burlington and only next week. Mosier says the workers could potentially be due a large payment.The program provides for a lump-sum payment of up to 150-thousand dollars for nuclear weapons workers who became ill as a result of exposure to radiation, beryllium or silica on the job. The center will be open January 22-24 at the Pzaaz Motor Inn in Burlington from 9 am to 7 pm each day. For more information, call 866-540-4977.
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