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Understanding the Application of a Conclusive Presumption of Compensability for Firefighters and Police [infographic]

When firefighters and police officers develop heart or lung diseases or certain other medical conditions after completing at least two years of service, the illnesses are conclusively presumed to have arisen out of and in the scope of employment and damages are therefore compensable under Nevada workers’ compensation laws.

Special Workers’ Compensation Laws for Firefighters and Police

In Nevada, firefighters and police officers and arson investigators are subject to special workers’ compensation laws that make it easier to obtain benefits for heart or lung disease or some other occupational illnesses when certain circumstances exist. 

Heart Diseases

When firefighters, police officers and arson investigators develop diseases of the heart during full-time, salaried, uninterrupted employment by the state for two years or more, conclusive presumption of compensability is allowed under workers compensation. Even if the disease is a result of a genetic defect, it’s still considered job related. Heart disease must be diagnosed as the cause of disablement, and it must result in temporary or permanent disability or death.

Lung Diseases

Firefighters, police officers and arson investigators can develop diseases of the lungs as a result of exposures on their jobs. But even exposures not related to work, similar to the heart disease rules, such resulting diseases are covered. As long as a disabling condition results in temporary or permanent disability or death, conclusive presumption of compensability is allowed under workers compensation. In Nevada, firefighters, police officers and arson investigators must be employed as full-time, salaried employees (including volunteer firefighters) for a period of two or more years.

All firefighters, police officers and arson investigators regardless of developing heart and lung diseases must submit to an annual physical examination. Examinations are required upon employment, upon commencement of benefits, and thereafter on an annual basis during the employee’s employment. Employees diagnosed with lung diseases must submit to a physical examination, including X-rays and testing of lung functioning upon employment, upon commencement of coverage, once every 2 years until the employee is 40 years of age or older, and thereafter on an annual basis during his/her employment.

Claims filed under heart and lung occupational diseases for firefighters, police officers and arson investigators may be reopened at any time during the life of the claimant if certification by a licensed physician shows a change in the employee’s health related to the occupational disease that warrants a rearrangement or increase in workers compensation benefits

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