Ohio Takes the Heat for Firefighters Who Are Unable to Obtain Disability Benefits
Nearly three years ago, a former firefighter was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma. Despite many treatments, doctors still found inoperable cancerous tumors on various parts of his body, including his lungs and spine. Unfortunately, the former Ohio firefighter faced difficulty when trying to obtain disability benefits due the state in which he lived.
An article published by the Huffington Post states that had the firefighter lived in any other state, he may not have faced such difficulty when attempting to achieve disability benefits. In most states, laws assume certain cancers are related to firefighters’ jobs and the constant toxic fume exposure they face on a day-to-day basis. As a result, a person in this dangerous line of work can become eligible for benefits without having to supply evidence to prove their illness was job-related. Instead, the employer, city, or county would be responsible to demonstrate the cancer was caused by anything else.
Why Has Ohio Not Joined in on Supporting the Firefighter Presumption Bill?
Cities and counties of Ohio object to these bills due to costs. In fact, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has already calculated the math. In doing so, they have found that if the state partakes in this bill, an additional 568 claims would be filed every year, totaling up to $75.3. Majority of these costs would have to be covered by local governments.
Of course, many Ohioans are disturbed by this. Every day, firefighters risk their lives running into burning buildings to save the lives of other individuals in need. When participating in such life-threatening activities, they are exposed to toxic carcinogens, which can be breathed in or absorbed through the skin.
The Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters and other government officials hope that Ohio will soon partake in the Patton’s Bill to protect the rights and safety of fire fighters who risk their lives every time they go to work.
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