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I am a Firefighter Who Was Diagnosed with Cancer. Can I Get Workers’ Compensation?

 Posted on April 16,2021 in Workers' Compensation

CA workers comp lawyerBeing a firefighter is one of the most dangerous jobs a person can have. However, traumatic injuries like burns or broken bones are not the only type of medical concern that may afflict a firefighter. Firefighters are also exposed to toxic fumes and carcinogenic substances in the course of their work that can cause cancer. If you are a firefighter who has been diagnosed with cancer, you may be entitled to financial compensation through workers’ compensation.

How Do I Prove My Cancer is a Work-Related Illness?

Workers’ compensation only covers injuries and illnesses that were acquired during the course of employment. Illnesses like cancer can take months, years, or even decades to show up on medical tests. You may wonder how you can prove that your cancer is a work-related illness. Fortunately, firefighters, peace officers, and the Department of Forestry workers are specifically addressed by California workers’ compensation laws.

Per the William Dallas Jones Cancer Presumption Act of 2010, cancer suffered by firefighters and other designated workers is presumed to be work-related. Unless sufficient evidence to the contrary can be shown, cancer is automatically considered a work-related illness for the purposes of workers’ compensation claims. This presumption extends to former firefighters for a period of three months per year of service for a maximum of ten years.

Which Expenses Are Covered by a Firefighter Workers’ Compensation Claim in California?

Medical advances allow many cancer patients to overcome the illness and lead full, healthy lives. However, these treatments are also extremely expensive. Workers’ compensation covers medical treatments for myeloma, lymphoma, leukemia, and other work-related cancers. Hospitalization, surgical procedures, medications, and other medical treatments are covered by workers’ comp.

Disability benefits are typically two-thirds of a worker’s wages. However, certain firefighters are entitled to one year of full salary and one year of temporary disability benefits. If a fighter dies due to cancer, the fighter’s spouse and children can receive death benefits as well as health insurance benefits.

Contact a Hollister Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you or a loved one is a firefighter with cancer, you should know that there are special laws designed to benefit you. Through worker’s compensation, you may receive financial compensation for medical treatments and lost income. The San Benito County workers’ compensation attorneys at Cramer & Martinez, LLP recognize the sacrifices that firefighters make to keep others safe. We are committed to helping firefighters and their families seek the compensation they need and deserve after a work accident or illness. Call us today at 408-848-1113 for a free consultation.


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