• 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 does the law go into effect?
    A: January 1st, 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 years as an interior firefighter as evidenced by a mask fit test pursuant to OSHA Standard 29CFR 1910.134
    3. Successful completion of a physical examination prior to the commencement of duties as an interior firefighter
    4. The physical examination does not reveal any cancer

    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: 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, 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: Can a firefighter have a change in status and still be eligible?
    A: Yes, as long as the eligibility criteria has been met.

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

    Q: Who is responsible to pay for the product?
    A: Any fire district, department or company in NY is required to provide and maintain an enhanced cancer benefit for each eligible volunteer firefighter.

    Q: Does McNeil& Co. (ESIP) have a product that is compliant with the law and approved by the state?
    A: Yes. Your department, or your ESIP agent, can visit www.esip.com/cancer to receive a quote and bind coverage today.

    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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