General Portfolio Press Releases

27
Aug

Firefighter Advisory Service To Assist With Compensation Claims

General Portfolio Press Releases
The Victorian Coalition Government today launched the Firefighters Advisory Service hotline, a phone-line dedicated to providing information and advice to career and volunteer firefighters considering lodging a compensation claim for cancer.

Jointly operated by the Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA) and the Country Fire Authority (CFA), the new Firefighter Advisory Service can be contacted on 1800 060 729. The service will operate between 9.00 am to 5.00 pm with an afterhours service available for CFA volunteers until 8.00 pm week days.

The VWA and CFA have also produced a comprehensive range of information to assist firefighters in preparing to lodge a claim.

This information is available at www.worksafe.vic.gov.au and www.cfa.vic.gov.au

Victorian firefighters who believe they have contracted cancer through firefighting are entitled to make a compensation claim, either through the CFA in the case of volunteers, or the VWA in the case of career firefighters.

Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips said that existing arrangements in Victoria already provide compensation to firefighters who contract disease or work related illness, and the Coalition Government has recognised community concerns by establishing this additional dedicated support measure.

“If a firefighter believes that he or she has contracted cancer as a result of their duties they should consider making a compensation claim,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

“The Firefighter Advisory Service will help firefighters understand the claims process and give further reassurance that their claims will receive prompt, compassionate and fair assessments.”

The Coalition Government recently announced the establishment of the Firefighters Assessment Panel comprising expert medical, technical and claims specialists to ensure that consistent and timely decisions are made on cancer claims. The new hotline will complement the panel, and assist firefighters with any questions they may have.

Callers to the Firefighters Advisory Service will be:
· guided through the process for making a claim;
· advised about the scope of entitlements for volunteers and career firefighters under both the WorkCover and CFA compensation schemes;
· given advice on what initial information to provide with their claim;
· advised on the process for claim assessments; and
· any other information relevant to their circumstances.

Victoria’s Accident Compensation Act 1985 provides a no-fault workplace scheme for Victorian workers who contract a disease or illness in the course of their employment.

Where a clear link is established between employment and a disease, the VWA provides appropriate support and compensation.

Media contact: Sean Burton 0428 506 585 sean.burton@minstaff.vic.gov.au
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