If you’re a volunteer firefighter, your health and safety are important
and understandably, you’re probably concerned about
workers’ compensation coverage in case you’re injured while fighting a fire. Fortunately,
there are laws in place that should help take care of you if you are injured
while performing your volunteer firefighter duties.
Under the Volunteer Firefighters’ Benefits Law, volunteer firefighters
on Long Island and throughout New York State are entitled to cash benefits
and medical care if they are injured or become ill while in the line of duty.
“Who pays for this insurance for volunteer firefighters?” It
is paid for by local political subdivisions and under the Law, volunteer
firefighters cannot be required to contribute to the cost of this coverage.
Instead, medical care and weekly cash benefits are paid for by the local
subdivision’s insurance carrier. However, the New York State Workers’
Compensation Board is the stage agency in charge of administering the
law and handling any disputes.
Are You Eligible for Benefits?
As an injured or ill volunteer firefighter, you may be wondering, “Do
I qualify for benefits?” You may qualify for medical care or cash
benefits, or both if you were injured in the line of duty and you are an
active volunteer firefighter in New York State of a fire company located in any of the following:
- A city
- A town
- A village
- A county
- A fire district
Note:It is not considered to be “in the line of duty” if you volunteered
in the rescue, recovery, or cleanup of the World Trade Center between
September 11, 2001 and September 12, 2002 and you suffered health problems
or lost wages due to volunteering at Ground Zero, the Fresh Kills Landfill,
the morgues, barges or piers.
To learn more about filing a workers’ comp claim as a volunteer firefighter
on Long Island or throughout New York,
contact our firm today.