Presumptive Rights Compo for Forest Firefighters

Updated 2 months ago

Eligible forest firefighters now have access to presumptive rights compensation for specified cancers. 

The Forests Amendment (Forest Firefighters Presumptive Rights Compensation) Act 2021 (the FFPRC Act) commenced on 14 September 2022.

The FFPRC Act extends the presumptive right to occupational and surge forest firefighters.

What presumptive rights mean

Forest firefighters who satisfy the criteria for presumptive rights now have an entitlement for compensation under Victoria's Workers' Compensation Scheme (the scheme).

This means that if a forest firefighter who satisfies the relevant criteria is diagnosed with a specified cancer, they no longer need to prove that the cancer is directly attributable to their service as a firefighter.

The presumption applies unless it can be proven the cancer was not caused by firefighting.

How to know whether you may be eligible

This compensation applies to forest firefighters who:

  • have been diagnosed since 1 June 2016 with one of 12 specified types of cancer
  • have served in active firefighting roles for a specified number of years, depending on the cancer type
  • are diagnosed during their service or within 10 years after they've finished their service

A partial year of service is counted as a full year of service to recognise seasonal workers.

Previous service as a volunteer or career firefighter and equivalent interstate service count toward the qualifying period.

Claimants who meet all other eligibility requirements except the qualifying period can still qualify if they can demonstrate they attended an exceptional exposure event.

How to make a claim

You can submit the Worker's injury claim form to the organisation that engaged you as a forest firefighter.

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