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.