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Presumptive Rights Legislation

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Under the presumptive rights compensation scheme, a firefighter claiming compensation for certain cancers doesn’t have to prove that firefighting is the cause of their cancer. Instead it will be presumed that they contracted cancer because of their firefighting service and that they therefore have an entitlement to compensation under the WorkSafe scheme.

Firefighters that are diagnosed with one of 12 specified cancers and have served the requisite number of years (5-25 depending on cancer type) have a presumptive entitlement to compensation, unless WorkSafe can prove that the cancer did not arise from firefighting.
The introduction of presumptive rights legislation fulfils the Government’s election commitment to provide Victorian firefighters with greater certainty of their presumptive entitlement to compensation for specified forms of cancer.

What cancer types are covered under the presumptive rights compensation legislation?

The cancer types that are presumed to have arisen from firefighting, and the applicable qualifying period, are specified in the table below:

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Disease Qualifying period
1. Primary site brain cancer 5 years
2. Primary site bladder cancer 15 years
3. Primary site kidney cancer 15 years
4. Primary non-Hodgkins lymphoma 15 years
5. Primary leukaemia 5 years
6. Primary site breast cancer 10 years
7. Primary site testicular cancer 10 years
8. Multiple myeloma 15 years
9. Primary site prostate cancer 15 years
10. Primary site ureter cancer 15 years
11. Primary site colorectal cancer 15 years
12. Primary site oesophageal cancer 25 years

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