Two bills introduced Wednesday in the New York Legislature would provide support to help volunteer firefighters and their families apply for workers' compensation and death benefits and increase the rate at which such benefits are paid.
S.B. 382 would set up a voluntary vehicle liability unit for firefighters to liaise with injured volunteer firefighters or their surviving relatives and help file claims and expedite payments.
A.B. 602 would amend the Workers 'Compensation Act for the payment of death benefits for voluntary firefighters to provide that those entitled to benefits are paid within 90 days of their application to the Workers' Compensation Board unless there is a notice of controversy or discrepancy in the claim. The legislation would also require the state workers 'compensation board to reach out to firefighters' families and provide assistance with applications for death benefits.
Both bills have been referred to the Local Government Committee.