WASHINGTON, D.C. - Central Coast Congressman Salud Carbajal has introduced a bill to ensure federal firefighters have the same access to job-related disability and retirement benefits as those who work for state, county, and city departments.
"The threshold for federal firefighters to prove work-related illness is much higher than their state or local counterparts here in California and around the nation," Rep. Carbajal said.
He points out federal firefighters have been on the front lines of many recent fires in California.
"This legislation gives our brave federal firefighters the healthcare benefits they deserve for putting themselves in harm's way to protect us all," Rep. Carbajal said.
The Federal Firefighters Fairness Act is co-led by Don Bacon (R-NE), Mark Takano (D-CA), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). A Senate companion bill was introduced by Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Susan Collins (R-ME).
In order to receive disability benefits under current federal law, federal firefighters are required to pinpoint the precise incident or exposure that caused a disease for it to be considered job-related. It can be difficult to prove exact causation given the variety of conditions firefighters work in.