Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation to Deliver Health Benefits to Volunteer Firefighters Across New York
By Company One Captain Bill Renzetti
October 24, 2017

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sunday signed legislation to provide health care benefits to volunteer firefighters who have been diagnosed with certain cancers.

Currently, volunteer firefighters are eligible for accidental disability and death benefits through workers' compensation if they are injured in the line of duty.
Under the new legislation advocated by firefighter organizations, firefighters will also be eligible for health benefits to support treatment for life-threatening cancers. The new law will take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Under the bill, volunteer firefighters who contract certain cancers will receive access to tax-free disability and death benefits. The cancers covered include lung, prostate, breast, lymphatic, hematological, digestive, urinary, neurological, reproductive system or melanoma.

The coverage applies as long as firefighters had no evidence of cancer during their initial physical when volunteering, the firefighters have five years of service as interior-building firefighters, and the firefighter is active or within five years of their last active date.

New York state has about 96,000 volunteer firefighters, mostly in suburban and rural communities

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