Victorian firefighters to access cancer compensation
Career and volunteer firefighters that meet certain requirements can now access presumptive compensation for specified cancers contracted during their service.
It comes after the Firefighters’ Presumptive Rights and Fire Services Amendment Legislation (Reform) Bill 2019 was passed in June 2019, with sections relating to compensation coming into effect on 2 July.
Under the amended legislation, career and volunteer firefighters can access presumptive compensation for cancers such as oesophageal cancer, multiple myeloma, leukemia and breast and testicular cancer, as well as seven others, as long as they:
- have served in active firefighting roles for a certain number of years, depending on the cancer type,
- have been diagnosed since 1 June 2016, and
- are diagnosed during their service or within 10 years of leaving service.
Additionally, volunteer firefighters “must have attended fires to the extent reasonably necessary to fulfil their duties as a firefighter”, according to the Bill.
Firefighters can also claim compensation outside the qualifying period if they can show they attended an exceptional exposure event in a firefighting capacity.
WorkSafe Victoria will set up an advisory committee to help guide them through these claims.
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