Act 46 of 2011 - Firefighter Cancer Presumption Bill
The Firefighter Cancer Presumption Law will enable firefighters to receive workers’ compensation benefits if they develop cancer and can establish exposure to certain carcinogens at fire or hazmat incidents during their careers.
The Cancer Presumption Law applies to any cancer. Firefighters who have served four or more years will be entitled to a presumption that their cancer is job-related, similar to the process used when firefighters suffer from lung cancer, heart disease, or more recently, Hepatitis C.
Firefighter cancer claims may be brought on behalf of any active or retired, career or volunteer firefighter who is being treated or has been treated for cancer, regardless of when their cancer was diagnosed or treated. The Cancer Presumption Law extends the period for filing claims to 600 weeks after separation from service. Firefighters who separated as long ago as January 2000 may be entitled to benefits.
Firefighter cancer claims may also be brought on behalf of surviving family members of firefighters who died as a result of cancer. To qualify for benefits, surviving spouses or dependent children must file a claim within three years of the firefighter’s death.
Benefits available under Act 46 are significant and may include retroactive and prospective salary and benefits, medical care for cancer treatment, and reimbursement for medical costs.