• NY Firefighter Cancer Coverage – Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: What is the purpose of the NYS Cancer Legislation
    A: Provides volunteer firefighters with monetary assistances in the event they are diagnosed with a covered cancer. The legislation is presumptive and does not require proof of where the cancer came from.

    Q: When does the law go into effect:
    A: January 1, 2019

    Q: Is this benefit available to all volunteer firefighters?
    A: No. Eligibility for the benefit will be based on the following criteria:

    1. The volunteer must be an active member
    2. The volunteer has served for at least five consecutive years as an interior firefighter as evidenced by a mask fit test.
    3. Successful completion of a physical examination prior to the commencement of duties as an interior firefighter and completion of the OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire.
    4. Has been deemed physically and medically qualified pursuant to 29CFR 1910.134 to use self contained breathing apparatus.
    5. The physical examination does not reveal any cancers listed in the bill.

    Q: Can a paid firefighter who is also a volunteer firefighter collect benefits from the NY Cancer Legislation?
    A: No.

    Q: What kind of cancer is covered?
    A: Malignant growth or tumor affecting the lymphatic or hematological systems or digestive, breast, urinary, prostate, neurological, breast or reproductive systems or melanoma.

    Q: What are the benefits provided under the legislation?
    A: There are three separate benefits, which are independent of each other:

    1. The lump-sum benefit provides a payout for a diagnosis of cancer based upon the severity of the diagnosis (ranging from $6,250 up to $25,000). **Maximum payout for the Lump Sum Benefit is $50,000
    2. A monthly benefit of $1,500 payable up to 36 consecutive monthly payments if the volunteer becomes totally disabled.
    3. Death benefit in the amount of $50,000.

    Q: Are the Benefits subject to New York State income tax?
    A: No

    Q: Can a firefighter have a change in status and still be eligible?
    A: Yes. If the eligibility criteria have been met.

    Q: Is the bill retroactive?
    A: No, the bill is not retroactive.

    Q: Who is responsible to pay for this?
    A: The bill requires that any fire district, department or company to provide and maintain an enhanced cancer disability benefit for each eligible volunteer firefighter.

    Q: Who is responsible to pay for this?
    A: If your entity utilizes volunteer firefighters; your department, district or company is subject to the law.

    Q: Does McNeil & Co. (ESIP) have a product that is compliant with the law and approved by the state?
    A: Yes.

    Q: How do I obtain a quote?
    A: McNeil & Co. has created a portal that either fire departments or an authorized McNeil agent can access.

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