Energy Employees Claimant Assistance Project

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Energy Employees Claimant Assistance Project
City & State:
Yellow Springs, 
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

The Energy Employees Claimant Assistance Project provides direct and indirect assistance to nuclear workers, or their survivors, so they may obtain medical benefits and compensation for the damage done to them under the US government’s cold war nuclear weapons program.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

During the Cold War hundreds of thousands of workers were unknowingly put in harm’s way by ionizing radiation and the dangerous chemicals that are unique to the nuclear weapons industry. The impact of this has been devastating to individuals, families and communities. In 2000 Congress recognized this fact and passed the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act to provide medical benefits and compensation to these workers. Unfortunately, the program has become very difficult to understand and navigate, particularly for claimants who are elderly, ill or disabled. The Energy Employee Claimant Assistance Project (EECAP) was begun by a small group of volunteers to help injured nuclear weapons workers obtain these benefits. Over the last two years EECAP has been directly responsible for workers receiving over $300,000. Because so many of our clients have mobility problems EECAP has devised a mobile office with a laptop computer and scanner/printer to take to the clients rather than having them come to us. This makes it necessary to have software that works well and is integrated to work together.Because demand for our services has increased, EECAP is transitioning from an all volunteer organization to a group with several paid staff. This is an exciting but awkward time for any organization. As demand for our services has increased it has been even more critically important for us to manage our information and technology wisely. TechSoup and Microsoft have given us a huge boost in this area.One of our main outreach areas is on the Web. We knew that to be taken seriously our website needed to look professional but because of our all volunteer status it was also apparent that we would need to design and maintain the website ourselves. After first trying an easy web design program it was obvious that we needed something better. Through TechSoup and Microsoft we received a copy of Microsoft’s Expression Web 2. The results are amazing! Since the website’s launch in April 2009, we have received more requests for help than we did in the previous two years combined.Another outreach activity we pursued was the designing of a brochure to explain ways EECAP can help claimants. Again, it was important that the brochure look professional so there was never any doubt but that this would be done in Microsoft Publisher. Publisher met our expectations and the brochure gives information in a clear, well-organized and understandable manner. Through TechSoup we received Microsoft Office Pro 2007 which updated all our favorite programs and added a few new ones. We use Word everyday for writing reports, letters to claimants, doctors and government agencies as well as for internal communications. As we often need to email copies of documents to different advocates or agencies it is important that we use a word processing program that other people can easily open and read. Word provides that convenience.For years we have used Excel to record information on locations of chemicals, client information, and as a finding aid for our digital library of over 6,000 documents. Now that we have Access we are beginning to transfer these files over so we will have the increased flexibility of searches and can use forms to input data, which is much easier to read and helps avoid errors. This will make our information even more accessible. One-Note has added greatly to our productivity. Writing chemical exposure reports and organizing documents for claimants involves a lot on intricate, detailed work. Often we need to research website health databases. With One-note we can keep all our research easily organized in a form that is searchable with a couple of key strokes. No more searching through files or stacks of printed web page research. It’s all available in One Note. This makes the difficult task of writing the reports for claimants much quicker and more efficient.With Map Point we have been able to create an interactive map of all the EEOICPA sites in the state of Ohio with facts specific to each site. Because MapPoint is so easy to use we can easily update the map as the data changes which helps us track statistics from Department of Labor.PowerPoint is very useful when we speak to groups about the program. The outline view in PowerPoint is very useful for organizing the facts to be presented and it is quick and easy to convert the outline to the PowerPoint slides. The many features in PowerPoint, the ability to print out notes and handouts and the flexibility of PowerPoint to other systems makes giving presentations easy and efficient.With the help of Microsoft and TechSoup we have been able to increase the number of claimants we have helped by 300%. Your help has been greatly appreciated.

Submission Category
Transformations to Maximize Impact