No workers compensation for volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania?
As experienced workers’ compensation attorneys in State College, Pennsylvania, we’re always keeping an eye on employee news across the state. Recently, an article from the Lebanon Daily News caught our attention; we feel it raises some important questions as to the rights of volunteer firefighters as employees in Pennsylvania.
In 2011, Pennsylvania enacted Act 46, the “Firefighters Cancer Presumption Law,” that addressed compensation benefits for firefighters. The law provided benefits for firefighters who developed cancer form the time they began serving in that capacity.
Now, some insurance companies are questioning whether they will continue coverage of municipalities who have volunteer firefighters.
Currently, if a Pennsylvania firefighter develops a condition, such as lung cancer, while serving for the department, he or she can make a workers’ compensation claim to the municipality.
In the past two years, the number of these workers’ compensation claims has steadily risen to the point where many insurance companies are revisiting their rates. Some are even considering whether they want to continue to cover the high-risk profession at all.
In Myerstown, Pennsylvania, one insurance company has made a decision to not cover any workers’ compensation for firefighters across the state.
Some council members from Myerstown have asked about medical testing for those firefighters requesting workers’ compensation to see if their injuries are a result of firefighting or if they have come from other lifestyle practices.
The intention of the act originally spawned from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York, as many Pennsylvania firefighters traveled to the site, many developing lung diseases from inhaling toxins.
The township and insurance carriers are looking into other options, as this externality was not the intention of the act.
We would like to hear your thoughts on this act, especially if you are a firefighter in Pennsylvania.
If you have been injured on the job, or feel you haven’t received the workers’ compensation funds you’re entitled to, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
No workers compensation for volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania? was last modified: November 12th, 2015 by Mark Weaver