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Workers’ compensation benefits denied for firefighter with cancer

| Aug 8, 2018 | Workers' Compensation |

The fact that firefighters can develop cancer as a result of their employment has been established. Under California laws, the state’s workers’ compensation insurance program regards cancer as a compensable work-related disease for firefighters. However, most such claims are said to be initially denied.

A 69-year-old retired firefighter is fighting the denial of his benefits claim. He believes his 30 years of fighting fires caused the cancer he now suffers, and he seeks benefits to provide financial relief. The city rejected his application for benefits, suggesting there were other causes for him contracting the dreaded disease.

According to the insurance system, the presumption of cancer in firefighters being work-related and therefore compensable is only valid for 10 years after the end of service. Furthermore, employers can refuse coverage for workers who used tobacco or were exposed to other known causes of cancer. The worker claims his everyday life is being investigated to find a reason for denying his benefits claim. He has filed a lawsuit and is now trying to get the city to approve benefits to cover his medical expenses.

Reportedly, in 2017, a California city received six claims from firefighters suffering from cancer, of which five were denied. However, upon appeal, two of the rejected claims were subsequently approved. Workers are entitled to stand up for their rights and seek legal help. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney might be a valuable asset in the corner of any retired firefighter who seeks the financial assistance to which he or she is entitled through the state’s insurance system.

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