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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Firefighters Fight Cancer with Weed Proceeds from Proposed New Laws

By The Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.

Starting September 22, 2016, firefighters in Michigan will benefit from Marijuana Revenue when 30% of all sale proceeds are earmarked for the Firefighter Presumption of Cancer and First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund. Marijuana advocates cheered this part of House Bill 4209 of 2015 because it is similar to the fight to remove all criminal penalties from the books for the plant. This is another example of how the plant can return a benefit to the community and save lives at the same time. When a firefighter with 5 years of experience files this application, it will suspend the employee’s workers' compensation claim against his or her employer.
The employer will file a counter claim against the applicant based on the following:
The statutory presumption may be rebutted by scientific evidence that the person was a substantial and consistent user of cigarettes or other tobacco products within the 10 years immediately preceding the date of injury, and that this use was a significant factor in the cause, aggravation, or progression of the cancer.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) may not implement the Fund until funded. Thus no activity on any submitted application may take place until that date. Any application received prior to that date will be logged in by date and time when received by our office. 

If you have any questions on the administration of this fund, you may contact the Claims Processing Division at 517-284-8912. The submission of an application does not guarantee the right to benefits under the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act.

In order to submit an application the first responder must:
  • Be a member of a fully paid fire department or public fire authority and be compensated on a full-time basis,
  • Be in active service of the department or authority for at least 60 months,
  • Be diagnosed with any respiratory tract, bladder, skin, brain, kidney, blood, thyroid, testicular, prostate, or lymphatic cancer,
  • Be employed in the active service of the department or authority at the time the cancer manifests itself, and be exposed to the hazards incidental to fire suppression, rescue, or emergency medical services in the performance of his or her work-related duties,
  • First apply for and do all things necessary to qualify for any pension benefits to which he or she may be entitled.
The application must be submitted via U.S. Mail attention: 
State of Michigan / Workers’ Compensation Agency
First Responders Presumed Coverage Fund,
P. O. Box 30016
Lansing, MI 48909.

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