Firefighters' presumptive rights compensation: Information for claimants

Eligible people engaged in firefighting activities who meet certain requirements can now access presumptive compensation for specified cancers related to their service.

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Overview

What does presumptive rights mean?

People who satisfy the criteria for presumptive rights now have an entitlement for compensation under Victoria’s Workers' Compensation Scheme (the scheme). It applies to the following people:

  • career and volunteer firefighters engaged by Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) and Country Fire Authority (CFA)
  • vehicle and equipment maintenance employees engaged by FRV and CFA
  • occupational and surge forest firefighters engaged by Forest Fire Management Victoria (effective from 14 September 2022)

This means if these people are diagnosed with a specified cancer outlined below and they satisfy the relevant criteria, they no longer need to prove that the cancer is directly attributable to their service.

The presumption applies unless it can be established that the cancer was not caused by their service.

What are the specified cancers and relevant qualifying periods?

The table below lists the 12 specified types of cancers and the qualifying period associated with each cancer.

Disease
(Click to clear sorting)
Disease Qualifying period
(Click to sort descending)

Primary leukemia

5 years

Primary site brain cancer

5 years

Primary site breast cancer

10 years

Primary site testicular cancer

10 years

Multiple myeloma

15 years

Primary non-Hodgkins lymphoma

15 years

Primary site bladder cancer

15 years

Primary site colorectal cancer

15 years

Primary site kidney cancer

15 years

Primary site prostate cancer

15 years

Primary site ureter cancer

15 years

Primary site oesophageal cancer

25 years

Criteria

How do I know whether I am eligible?

The presumptive compensation applies to relevant firefighters and vehicle and equipment maintenance employees who:

  • have been diagnosed since 1 June 2016 with one of 12 specified types of cancer (see table below)
  • have been engaged as an eligible firefighter or vehicle and equipment maintenance employees for the relevant qualifying period
  • are diagnosed during their service or within 10 years after finishing their service
  • can demonstrate they attended fires to the extent reasonably necessary to meet the requirements of the presumptive legislation

How is the length of service calculated?

Each partial year of service as a relevant firefighter or vehicle and equipment maintenance employees is counted as a full year of service in recognition that firefighting is often seasonal work.

Previous service as a relevant firefighter or vehicle and equipment maintenance employees and equivalent interstate service count toward the qualifying period.

Claimants without the minimum service period can still qualify if they can demonstrate they attended an exceptional exposure event.

To demonstrate you attended an exceptional exposure event, you need to apply for special consideration.

Special consideration

More information

If you need more help

We want to make things as easy as possible for you during this difficult and distressing time. If you have questions about this process, please contact the WorkSafe Advisory Service or your Agent.

WorkSafe Advisory Service

WorkSafe's advisory service is available between 7:30am and 6:30pm Monday to Friday. If you need more support, you can also contact WorkSafe using the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) or the National Relay Service.

1800 136 089 More contact options

Other information