Presumptive Disability Law in Nova Scotia

Print
Click the printer icon to print
information about this state
CODE PART:
CHAPTER 10 Workers' Compensation Act
PART I WORKERS COMPENSATION SCOPE
Firefighters’ Compensation Regulations
Nova Scotia Legislative Website
DESCRIPTION:
Presumption respecting firefighter

35A
  1. In this Section, "firefighter" means an employee, including officers and technicians, employed by a municipality and assigned exclusively to fire protection and fire prevention duties notwithstanding that those duties may include the performance of ambulance or rescue services, and includes a member of a volunteer fire department who performs those duties.
  2. Where a worker who is or has been a firefighter suffers an accident that is a cancer or other disease that is prescribed by the Governor in Council by regulation, the accident is presumed to be an occupational disease, the dominant cause of which is the employment as a firefighter, unless the contrary is proven.
  3. The presumption in subsection (2) applies only to a worker who has been a member of a fire protection service of a municipality or a volunteer fire department for a minimum period prescribed by the Governor in Council by regulation and who has been regularly exposed to the hazards of a fire scene, other than a forest-fire scene, throughout that period.
  4. The presumption in subsection (2) applies to accidents that happen on or after January 1, 1993.
  5. The Governor in Council may make regulations
    1. prescribing diseases for the purpose of subsection (2);
    2. prescribing periods of employment or volunteer work for the purpose of subsection (3), and may prescribe different periods for different diseases prescribed for the purpose of subsection (2).
  6. The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (5) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act.
  7. Subsection 83(2) does not apply with respect to a firefighter who learned before this Section came into force that the firefighter suffered from a disease prescribed pursuant to this Section.
  8. For greater certainty, compensation payable for the period before this Section came into force shall be calculated in accordance with this Part and not in accordance with the former Act. 2003, c. 5, s. 2.


Firefighters’ Compensation Regulations made under subsection 35A(5) of the Workers’ Compensation Act S.N.S. 1994-95, c. 10, O.I.C. 2003-341 (August 1, 2003, effective July 30, 2003), N.S. Reg. 140/2003

    Citation

  1. These regulations may be cited as the Firefighters’ Compensation Regulations.
  2. Prescribed diseases and minimum periods
  3. The diseases and corresponding minimum periods of employment or volunteer work set out in the following table are prescribed for the purposes of subsections 35A(2) and (3) of the Workers’ Compensation Act:

    Disease Minimum Period of Employment
    Primary-site brain cancer 10 years
    Primary-site bladder cancer 15 years
    Primary-site kidney cancer 20 years
    Primary non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma 20 years
    Primary leukemia 5 years
    Primary site colon cancer 20 years

  4. Volunteer firefighters

  5. A firefighter who is or has been a member of a volunteer fire department is deemed to meet a minimum period of volunteer work prescribed by Section 2 if the firefighter
    1. participated in at least 20% of all activities of the volunteer fire department each year, including fire calls and training, conducted during the minimum period; and
    2. has written confirmation of active member status for the minimum period in a form approved by the Workers’ Compensation Board and signed by the Chief or Deputy Chief of the volunteer fire department for which the firefighter worked.


10.12
12A
  1. In this Section,
    1. "front-line or emergency-response worker" means a continuing-care assistant, correctional officer, emergency-response dispatcher, firefighter, nurse, paramedic, police officer or person in an occupation prescribed by the regulations;
    2. "post-traumatic stress disorder" means posttraumatic stress disorder as described in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association;
    3. "prescribed diagnostician" means a person prescribed by the regulations who may diagnose a worker with post-traumatic stress disorder for the purpose of this Section.
  2. Subject to subsections (3) to (5), where a front-line or emergency response worker is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by a prescribed diagnostician, the post-traumatic stress disorder is, unless the contrary is shown, presumed to have arisen out of and in the course of the worker’s employment in response to a traumatic event or a series of traumatic events to which the worker was exposed in carrying out the worker’s duties as a front-line or emergency-response worker.
  3. The presumption created by subsection (2) applies on and after the date prescribed by the regulations, which date may be before, on or after the date on which subsection (2) comes into force.
  4. The presumption created by subsection (2) applies if the worker is diagnosed
    1. while the worker is employed as a front-line or emergency response worker; or
    2. within the period prescribed by the regulations following the worker ceasing to be employed as a front-line or emergency-response worker.
  5. A worker is not entitled to benefits under this Act for post traumatic stress disorder if it is shown that the worker’s post-traumatic stress disorder was caused by a decision or action of the worker’s employer relating to the worker’s employment, including a decision to
    1. change the work to be performed or the working conditions;
    2. discipline the worker; or
    3. terminate the worker’s employment.
  6. Subject to the regulations, the Board shall assist a front-line or emergency-response worker who is entitled to benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder under this Act in obtaining treatment from a culturally competent clinician who is familiar with the research concerning treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
  7. Where a worker has filed a claim in respect of post-traumatic stress disorder before the coming into force of this Section and the claim has been denied, the worker may re-file the claim under this Section unless prohibited from doing so by the regulations.
  8. The Governor in Council may make regulations
    1. prescribing occupations for the purpose of the definition of front-line or emergency-response worker;
    2. prescribing persons as prescribed diagnosticians;
    3. prescribing the date on and after which the presumption created by subsection (2) applies, which prescribed date may be before, on or after the date on which subsection (2) comes into force;
    4. prescribing the period following the worker ceasing to be employed as a front-line or emergency-response worker within which a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder must be made for the presumption created by subsection (2) to apply;
    5. respecting the obligation of the Board to assist a front-line or emergency-response worker under subsection (6);
    6. respecting the circumstances in which a worker is prohibited from re-filing a claim under subsection (7);
    7. defining "continuing-care assistant", "correctional officer", "emergency-response dispatcher", "firefighter", "nurse", "paramedic", "police officer" and any other word or expression used but not defined in this Section;
    8. respecting any matter the Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to effectively carry out the intent and purpose of this Section.
  9. The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (8) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act.


83.10
(2A) In the case of post-traumatic stress disorder as defined in Section 12A, the Board shall not pay compensation except where
  1. the worker has given the employer notice of the injury as soon as practicable after the worker is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder; and
  2. the worker’s claim for compensation is made within the period prescribed by the regulations after the worker is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in accordance with Section 12A and the regulations made under that Section.


(4A) The notice required pursuant to clause (2A)(a) shall contain the particulars set out in subsection (3) and is to be given to the employer who last employed the worker in the employment causing the post-traumatic stress disorder.