New law gives health benefits to volunteer firefighters fighting cancer

New law gives health benefits to volunteer firefighters fighting cancer”

It was passed by the legislature in June, but the fight to get these benefits has been ongoing for years.

Governor Cuomo has signed legislation to deliver health care benefits to volunteer firefighters who have been diagnosed with certain cancers. Governor Cuomo signed the bill Sunday.

Starting in January, the bill will provide support for treatment for life-threatening forms of cancer including lung, prostate, breast, lymphatic, blood, digestive, urinary, neurological, reproductive and melanoma.

Volunteer firefighters injured in the line of duty are now eligible for accidental disability and death benefits through workers' compensation, but under the new legislation, firefighters also will be eligible for health benefits to support treatment for life-threatening cancers.

Edward Tase says he's thankful.

To be eligible, firefighters must have served at least five years fighting fires inside structures and have had a physical exam that showed no cancer before he or she began volunteering.

There are more than 100 thousand volunteer firefighters across the state of NY.

"The courageous men and women who put their lives on the line every day and volunteer to keep our communities safe should not be burdened with unexpected medical bills from illness they received while on the front lines of fire emergencies", Griffo said.

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