Changes Follow a Rosen-Signed Letter Urging the Department of Labor Calling to Address Workers’ Claims Challenges For Federal Firefighters
LAS VEGAS, NV – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) applauded the U.S. Department of Labor for announcing this week the creation of a special claims unit that will handle all federal firefighter workers’ compensation claims, making it easier to file certain claims and improving transparency. In February, Senator Rosen signed on to a letter asking the Department of Labor to establish this special claims unit before the start of the 2022 wildfire season.
“Firefighters routinely put themselves in harm’s way to keep our communities safe, especially to combat wildfires in Nevada and across the West,” said Senator Rosen. “It is highly concerning that these heroes have not received fair compensation for their work-related injuries and illnesses, and I am glad the Department of Labor is heeding our call to streamline the claims process and make it easier for them to file claims.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that cancer is a leading cause of death among firefighters, and research suggests firefighters are at increased risk of certain types of cancers compared to the general population. Each year, OWCP receives approximately 2,600 workers’ compensation claims from federal firefighters. Of those, about 175 claims include conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and lung disease.
The full text of the letter can be found here.