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Rep. Wilson Votes to Support Federal Firefighters

Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022 improves access to workers' compensation benefits for federal first responders

Miami, Fla.  This week, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-24) voted to pass the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act, which seeks to strengthen access to workers’ compensation benefits for federal firefighters, including those in District 24 who have become injured or ill on the job.

“Federal firefighters risk their lives, exposing themselves to harmful emissions and hazardous chemicals each day they go out to protect our communities. For those who become ill or injured, many often face difficult challenges to seeking the medical and financial relief they need,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “With the passage of the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022, Congress is taking crucial steps to providing federal fighters with critical access to the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. I am proud to stand with these brave heroes.”

Firefighters are at high risk of contracting occupational illnesses because of routine exposure to smoke, heat, stress, toxic substances, and other work-related hazards. Most states provide firefighters who seek workers’ compensation benefits for work-related illness and injury with the presumption that certain diseases are work-related. 

Unfortunately, the roughly 15,000 firefighters employed by the federal government are covered by a system that is poorly designed to provide benefits or occupational disease caused by exposure to toxic substances. This leaves federal firefighters and their families without the workers’ compensation protections that they deserve and that firefighters across the country are already guaranteed. 

The Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022 would make it easier for federal firefighters to secure workers’ compensation benefits under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act by, among other actions, providing a science-based presumption that certain illnesses should be deemed work-related.

For the fact sheet of the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022, click here.

For the section-by-section of the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022, click here.