Date last updated

Thursday 01 Aug 2019

Industries and topics
  • Emergency services
  • Claims

What does it mean for me?

New presumptive legislation has been introduced for Victorian career and volunteer firefighters.

The idea behind the new legislation is to give firefighters simpler access to compensation by giving them 'presumed entitlement'. This means that an eligible firefighter doesn't have to prove that firefighting is the cause of their cancer when they make a claim.

How do I know if I'm eligible?

The compensation applies to career and volunteer firefighters who:

  • have been diagnosed since 1 June 2016 with one of 12 specified types of cancer
  • have served in active firefighting roles for a specified number of years, depending on the cancer type (refer to below table)
  • are diagnosed during their service or within 10 years after they've finished their service

If you are a volunteer firefighter, you will also need to demonstrate that you have attended fires to the extent necessary to meet the requirements of the presumptive legislation.

What happens when I submit a claim?

Your Agent will review the information you provide and determine if you meet the requirements to be considered under the new legislation.

For volunteers, your claim will be referred to an advisory committee and you will need to show that over your service you have had an operational role in attending fires. The Advisory Committee will provide advice  to WorkSafe as to whether you have met the requirements

What if I'm not eligible?

If you're a volunteer firefighter

If your claim isn't accepted - it will be because you don't meet the requirements to be considered a 'worker' under the WIRC Act. However there are still options available for you to apply for compensation.

Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteer firefighters can apply for compensation under the CFA compensation scheme. You can find more information on this scheme on the CFA website.

If you're a career firefighter

If you are not eligible under the new legislation, your Agent will determine if you qualify for compensation under the WIRC Act and let you know of the outcome.

What are the specified cancers and relevant qualifying periods?

The table below lists the 12 specified types of cancer and the qualifying period associated with each cancer. This table will help you determine your eligibility.

Disease

Qualifying Period

Primary site brain cancer

5 years

Primary site bladder cancer

15 years

Primary site kidney cancer

15 years

Primary non-Hodgkins lymphoma

15 years

Primary leukemia

5 years

Primary site breast cancer

10 years

Primary site testicular cancer

10 years

Multiple myeloma

15 years

Primary site prostate cancer

15 years

Primary site ureter cancer

15 years

Primary site colorectal cancer

15 years

Primary site oesophageal cancer

25 years

What if I meet all requirements except the qualifying period?

If you meet all the requirements except the qualifying period and you believe you were involved in an exceptional exposure event as part of your firefighting duties, you may be eligible for a special consideration application with WorkSafe.

You can complete this at multiple points during the claims process:

  • when you submit your claim
  • at any time during the claim process, or
  • within 60 days after your claim has been rejected.

Your Agent will only consider your special consideration application if your claim is rejected.

Can I dispute WorkSafe's decision to reject my application?

Yes you can, details on how to go about this are provided in your decision letter.

Need help?

We understand this may be a difficult or distressing time and we don't want to make things harder for you. If you have any questions about this process, please contact our Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 or your Agent.