Bill would expand workers’ comp cancer presumption for NH firefighters

Senate measure widens definition of occupationally caused illness

FirefighterLegislation filed in the New Hampshire Senate would make all types of cancer among firefighters a presumptive occupational disease eligible for workers’ compensation.

Under Senate Bill 71, sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators, cancer diagnoses in firefighters would be presumed to be occupationally caused, making active-duty, volunteer and retired fire department members eligible to collect comp benefits.

The bill would remove language from existing law that says firefighters diagnosed with cancer can only collect workers’ comp benefits if the type of cancer involved was caused by exposure to heat, radiation or a known carcinogen as defined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The bill also calls for the creation of a commission to study workers’ comp in firefighter cancer cases.

Similar legislation has been introduced in other states, including Connecticut and Nebraska.

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