Presumptive Disability Law in Ohio

CODE PART:
Ohio Revised Code
TITLE [41] XLI LABOR AND INDUSTRY
CHAPTER 4123: WORKERS' COMPENSATION
4123.68 Schedule of compensable occupational diseases.
Ohio Legislative Website
DESCRIPTION:
(C) "Injury" includes any injury, whether caused by external accidental means or accidental in character and result, received in the course of, and arising out of, the injured employee's employment. "Injury" does not include:

(1) Psychiatric conditions except where the claimant's psychiatric conditions have arisen from an injury or occupational disease sustained by that claimant or where the claimant's psychiatric conditions have arisen from sexual conduct in which the claimant was forced by threat of physical harm to engage or participate;

(W)
Cardiovascular, pulmonary, or respiratory diseases incurred by fire fighters or police officers following exposure to heat, smoke, toxic gases, chemical fumes and other toxic substances: Any cardiovascular, pulmonary, or respiratory disease of a fire fighter or police officer caused or induced by the cumulative effect of exposure to heat, the inhalation of smoke, toxic gases, chemical fumes and other toxic substances in the performance of his duty constitutes a presumption, which may be refuted by affirmative evidence, that such occurred in the course of and arising out of his employment. For the purpose of this section, “fire fighter” means any regular member of a lawfully constituted fire department of a municipal corporation or township, whether paid or volunteer, and “police officer” means any regular member of a lawfully constituted police department of a municipal corporation, township or county, whether paid or volunteer.

This chapter does not entitle a fire fighter, or police officer, or his dependents to compensation, medical treatment, or payment of funeral expenses for disability or death from a cardiovascular, pulmonary, or respiratory disease, unless the fire fighter or police officer has been subject to injurious exposure to heat, smoke, toxic gases, chemical fumes, and other toxic substances in his employment in this state preceding his disablement, some portion of which has been after January 1, 1967, except as provided in division (E) of section 4123.57 of the Revised Code.

Compensation on account of cardiovascular, pulmonary, or respiratory diseases of fire fighters and police officers is payable only in the event of temporary total disability, permanent total disability, or death, in accordance with section 4123.56, 4123.58, or 4123.59 of the Revised Code. Medical, hospital, and nursing expenses are payable in accordance with this chapter. Compensation, medical, hospital, and nursing expenses are payable only in the event of such disability or death resulting within eight years after the last injurious exposure; provided that such eight-year limitation does not apply to disability or death from exposure occurring after January 1, 1976. In the event of death following continuous total disability commencing within eight years after the last injurious exposure, the requirement of death within eight years after the last injurious exposure does not apply.

This chapter does not entitle a fire fighter or police officer, or his dependents, to compensation, medical, hospital, and nursing expenses, or payment of funeral expenses for disability or death due to a cardiovascular, pulmonary, or respiratory disease in the event of failure or omission on the part of the fire fighter or police officer truthfully to state, when seeking employment, the place, duration, and nature of previous employment in answer to an inquiry made by the employer.

Before awarding compensation for disability or death under this division, the administrator shall refer the claim to a qualified medical specialist for examination and recommendation with regard to the diagnosis, the extent of disability, the cause of death, and other medical questions connected with the claim. A fire fighter or police officer shall submit to such examinations, including clinical and x-ray examinations, as the administrator requires. In the event that a fire fighter or police officer refuses to submit to examinations, including clinical and x-ray examinations, after notice from the administrator, or in the event that a claimant for compensation for death under this division fails to produce necessary consents and permits, after notice from the administrator, so that such autopsy examination and tests may be performed, then all rights for compensation are forfeited. The reasonable compensation of such specialists and the expenses of examination and tests shall be paid, if the claim is allowed, as part of the expenses of the claim, otherwise they shall be paid from the surplus fund.

(X)
  1. Cancer contracted by a firefighter: Cancer contracted by a firefighter who has been assigned to at least six years of hazardous duty as a firefighter constitutes a presumption t hat the cancer was contracted in the course of and arising out of the firefighter's employment if the firefighter was exposed to an agent classified by the international agency for research on cancer or its successor organization as a group 1 or 2A carcinogen.
  2. The presumption described in division (X)(1) of this section is rebuttable in any of the following situations:
    1. There is evidence that the firefighter's exposure, outside the scope of the firefighter's official duties, to cigarettes, tobacco products, or other conditions presenting an extremely high risk f or the development of the cancer alleged, was probably a significant factor in the cause or progression of the cancer.
    2. There is evidence that the firefighter was not exposed to an agent classified by the international agency for research on cancer as a group 1 or 2A carcinogen.
    3. There is evidence that the firefighter incurred the type of cancer alleged before becoming a member of the fire department.
    4. The firefighter is seventy years of age or older.
  3. The presumption described in division (X)(1) of this section does not apply if it has been more than twenty years since the firefighter was last assigned to hazardous duty as a firefighter.
  4. Compensation for cancer contracted by a firefighter in the course of hazardous duty under division (X) of this section is payable only in the event of temporary total disability, permanent total disability, or death, in accordance with sections 4123.56, 4123.58, and 4123.59 of the Revised Code.
  5. As used in division (X) of this section , "hazardous duty" has the same meaning as in 5 C.F.R. 550.902, as amended.