Former miners who die with suspected Covid-19 should have any industrial diseases recorded on their death certificates, a group of MPs says.
Families could face problems with compensation if diseases caused by breathing in coal dust are not recorded, the MPs fear.
Twenty MPs have signed a letter begun by Barnsley East MP Stephanie Peacock, sent to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
The Department of Health and Social Care has been approached for a comment.
Years of coal dust inhalation have left many former miners with damaged lungs, making them vulnerable to coronavirus, the Local Democracy Reporting Service says.
The MPs are asking the government to outline plans to protect former miners and their families during the crisis.
Current legislation on the completion of death certificates has been relaxed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Former miners fear this may prevent the referral of cases where industrial disease may have been a contributing factor in a death.
Stephanie Peacock said: "Many miners have suffered lung disease as a result of their time down the pit.
"Under current guidelines grieving families, who are already facing real hardship, will be robbed of their chance to claim compensation.
On the Selby NUM Coal Advice Twitter feed families were advised to seek a post-mortem examination of any covid-related death to check for underlying industrial disease.