June 1, 2016

Firefighter Cancer Presumption Laws

OLR Report 2016-R-0018 describes how laws in nearby states create a presumption that a firefighter's cancer was caused by his or her work as a firefighter, thus entitling the firefighter to workers’ compensation or other benefits.

Among the northeastern states that allow a presumption for firefighters’ cancer, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Vermont provide benefits through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage (paid by the employer).  Alternatively, Massachusetts, New York (whose law appears to have expired in 2005), and Rhode Island use the presumption when determining a firefighter’s eligibility for disability retirement benefits. 

For more information, read the full report here.

This past legislative session, Connecticut passed a law (PA 16-10) that creates the firefighters cancer relief program to provide wage replacement benefits to eligible paid and volunteer firefighters diagnosed with cancer.  The program will be administered by a new cancer relief subcommittee of the Connecticut State Firefighters Association and funded through a diversion of funds from the enhanced emergency 9-1-1-program, which is funded by a monthly subscriber fee on phone service.