NY Firefighter Cancer Coverage – Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions regarding the NYS Volunteer Firefighter Enhanced Cancer Disability Benefits Act

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 did the law go into effect?
A: January 1st, 2019

Q: Is this benefit available to all volunteer firefighters?
A: Eligibility for the statutory cancer 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 years as an interior firefighter as evidenced by a mask fit test pursuant to OSHA Standard 29CFR 1910.134 or other documentation capable of evidencing eligibility as outlined by the Office of Fire Prevention and Control
  3. Successful completion of a physical examination prior to the commencement of duties as an interior firefighter that does not reveal any cancer

Through our All Member Endorsement, coverage is available for ALL members who are active volunteer firefighters, both interior and exterior, for the same per member cost.

Q: Can a paid firefighter who is also a volunteer collect benefits from the NY Cancer Legislation?
A: No, paid volunteers are not covered under the NY Cancer Legislation.

Q: What kind of cancer is covered?
A: Through the statutory cancer policy, coverage applies to malignant growth or tumor affecting the lymphatic or hematological systems or digestive, breast, urinary, prostate, neurological, breast or reproductive systems or melanoma.

Through the All Cancer Coverage, we now offer blanket coverage for ANY cancer which can be added to an existing policy.

Q: What are the benefits provided under the legislation?
A: There are three separate, 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 to $25,000 (Maximum payout for Lump Sum Benefit is $50,000)
  2. A monthly benefit of $1,500 payable up to 36 months 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: Who is responsible to pay for the product?
A: Any fire district, department or company in NY, or authority having jurisdiction, is required to provide and maintain an enhanced cancer benefit i.e. statutory cancer coverage, for each eligible volunteer firefighter.

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.