Heart and Lung Bill for Firefighters and Police in Virginia
Police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and other public safety workers who have developed heart disease, lung disease, or hypertension are entitled by Virginia Code Section 65.2-402 to a presumption that their occupation caused their disease.
Public safety workers are constantly facing risk of developing certain occupational diseases due to the essentially stressful nature of their jobs. Virginia Code Section 65.2-402, also known as the Police and Firefighter Heart and Lung Presumption Bill, was enacted by the Virginia General Assembly in 1976 to help public safety workers and other emergency first responders ease the problem of proving that the heart or lung condition they’ve developed is linked to their job.
How can you qualify to the disease presumptions contained in Virginia Code Section 65.2-402?
Several requirements must be met before you can gain the disease presumptions benefits included in the Virginia Heart and Lung Bill.
You must be a police officer, firefighter, or a paramedic
“Police officers, firefighters, and emergency first responders” cover a wide classification and includes the following jobs:
- Firefighters, both volunteers and salaried
- Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs
- Virginia Marine Police officers
- Virginia Port Authority police officers
- Norfolk Airport Authority police officers
- Campus police officers hired in public colleges
- Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority police officers
- Members of the State Police Officers’ Retirement System
- Members of city, county, and town police departments
This qualification includes retired police officers, retired firefighters, and retired paramedics.
You must be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, respiratory illness, or hypertension by a doctor to qualify for the disease presumptions
This second requirement is medical in nature. While this seems clear, it is often disputed by employers, insurance providers, and third party claim administrators (TPAs) who try to avoid paying workers’ comp benefits.
Disability is established when you miss time from work because of the heart or lung disease
Being diagnosed and treated for cardiovascular or lung disease is not enough. You must also present proof that you missed time from work or was limited to light work duties because of the disease.
Seek legal help to qualify for benefits under Virginia’s Heart and Lung Bill
Treatment for cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease is expensive. For this reason, employers spend a lot for thorough interrogations and evidence-gathering to find possible defenses against your workers comp claim.
You get one shot to prove your right to workers’ comp benefits. Make sure it’s done right the first time. Slominski Law represents police officers, firefighters, and first responders to defend their right to medical treatment and disability benefits for hypertension, heart disease, and lung disease that are linked to their stressful occupation.
Contact us for a free consultation if you’ve been diagnosed with lung disease, heart disease, or hypertension. Our workers’ comp attorneys have comprehensive knowledge and broad experience regarding the Virginia Heart and Lung Bill. Call us today at (434) 384-9400 in Lynchburg or at ((540) 554-3762 in Roanoke.