Q. I lived in the Love Canal area. How do I know if I'm included in those eligible to receive benefits from the Love Canal Medical Fund?
A. There are 1,328 former residents of Love Canal who were participants in a successful court action against Occidental Chemical Corporation et al. If you are one of those 1,328 individuals you would have received a cash settlement at the time the case ended and you would have received a "Letter of Determination". You can contact the Fund at any time to see if your name is among those covered by the Fund.
Q. What are the benefits those who are beneficiaries can receive?
A. There are two categories of benefits.
- Annual Physical exam coverage is available to all beneficiaries effective January 1, 1999. The Fund will pay up to $250 and there is no deductible. If a physical costs you $250 the Fund will give you the entire $250.
- Medical Benefits coverage is fully described in the Medical Benefits Plan. Coverage is limited to medical conditions the Fund recognizes as reasonably associated with exposure to toxic chemicals at Love Canal and are a reasonable and customary expense. There is a $100 annual deductible for covered items and specific limitations as described in the Medical Benefits Plan.
Q. How can I obtain the forms to file a claim?
All forms are available through the Fund's website in a downloadable format. Additionally you can contact the Fund via telephone or e-mail and request forms. And the Fund annually sends a copy of both the Annual Physical Claim Form and Medical Benefits Claim Form near the end of each year.
Q. I do not understand how to fill out the claim form. Can I get help?
A. Yes. Do the best you can in filling out the form and mail it to the Claims Adjuster. If there are questions the Claims Adjuster will contact you to obtain additional information. The Fund does not accept blank or almost blank forms. Do your best and help will be provided to complete the filing process.
Q. Who reviews my Annual Physical and Medical Benefits Claim forms?
A. The Fund employs a Claims Adjuster (currently First Niagara Risk Management) to receive and review all claim forms (beneficiaries are encouraged to maintain a copy of all submitted information for their records). In instances where there is insufficient information to process a claim the Claims Adjuster will contact the beneficiary to request additional information.
- Annual Physical claims will be paid by the Claims Adjuster as soon as all necessary documentation has been provided.
- Medical Benefits claims are reviewed by a Claims Committee of the Fund's Board at certain times throughout the year. Claims approved by the Claims Committee are authorized to be paid by the Claims Adjuster.
Q. How often can I file a claim?
A. Each beneficiary may submit claims a maximum of two times in any year.
Q. What are the covered illnesses?
A. The Fund was established to cover out-of-pocket expenses for certain medical conditions that reasonably could be associated with exposure to toxic chemicals at Love Canal and are reasonable and customary expenses, as outlined in the Medical Benefits Plan. These medical conditions could have been present at the time of residency in Love Canal or they could be any of the many latent illnesses that may have developed since moving from the area.
Q. How do I know if my medical problem is related to having lived in Love Canal?
A. Whenever there is a question about coverage you should submit a claim for reimbursement and our Claims Adjuster will let you know if it is covered.
Q. What is the annual deductible amount?
A. Currently there is a $100.00 annual deductible for each beneficiary for each year they submit out-of-pocket expenses for reimbursement consideration. For example, if your health insurance plan deductible is $200 and your out-of-pocket costs are $80 you should submit that $280 claim to the Fund. If your medical illness is one that could reasonably be associated with exposure to toxic chemicals at Love Canal you would receive $180 back from the Fund.
Q. How does the Love Canal Medical Fund locate potential Board Members?
A. Nominations for possible Board of Director membership come from current Boar Members who know the potential Board Member's education and experiential background, or potential Board candidates can also submit their CV or resume for consideration. The Board's Nominating Committee reviews all submitted information and then interviews each candidate to be certain that both the Board and candidate will benefit from their Board experience.
Q. Are there different categories of Board Members?
A. Yes. The Board of Directors is comprised of Residents and Experts who are elected for three year terms.
- Residents are those who lived at Love Canal and are beneficiaries of the Fund who have an interest in helping to ensure that the Fund's assets are used for the general welfare of living beneficiaries.
- Experts are members of the community-at-large who have volunteered to share their area of expertise (financial, legal, medical, scientific, social work, etc.) with the entire Board for the benefit of beneficiaries.
Q. How often and where does the Board of Directors meet?
A. The Board typically meets three times each year at a site convenient to those residing in Western New York to conduct the Fund's business.
Q. Are Board Members compensated?
A. Board Members serve out of an interest to help those affected by the tragedy of Love Canal. No salary, stipend or benefits are paid to any Board Member. Board Members who incur legitimate expenses in the performance of their Board related duties are reimbursed by the Fund.