In a stunning move, Governor Tom Corbett has passed a law through to the
Pennsylvania legislature that will allow volunteer and career firefighters
to receive workers' compensation if they develop cancer. This is a
huge move for Pennsylvania, as in the past it has been difficult for firefighters
to prove the link between their work and contracting cancer, thus having their
claim denied. This has caused potential new firemen to avoid signing up, and the number
of firefighters has decreased significantly.
Lawmakers hope this new law will reverse the downward trend of firefighters
signing up for service, as they will be able to receive workers' compensation
benefits for the first time. The Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner
was quoted saying this legislation is a positive change, as it can potentially
assist in the recruitment and retention of firefighters. According to
Representative Frank Farry, this new workers' comp change will also
save taxpayers well into the millions annually on their property taxes.
Although this is great news for firefighters, it is important to understand
that workers' compensation is available for most people in any line
of work. The possibility of becoming an injured worker is an all too common
one. It is important for anyone who has been hurt while they were working
to contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney, so that
they can learn about their rights. Even for those who have had a workers'
compensation claim denied, an attorney may be able to help readdress the
issue and will be there to lend a helping hand when it is needed most.
Source: NewsWorks, "Pa. will compensate firefighters who contract cancer," Kimberly Haas, Sep. 5, 2011