If you get injured while at an authorized emergency response as a volunteer firefighter guess what? You'll only get workers' compensation if your lucky, and these benefits suck...!

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ummm, yeah....and your point???
I have one word for you...AAAAAAaaafffflack!!!!!!
We have a secondary insurance that bridges the gap between workers comp and your full time job.

Workers Compensation covers the volunteer if the agency has a policy. Some of these agencies are private organizations, and some are municipal. Therefore your department needs to assure they are covered to begin with. The benefit is 60 percent of your average salary while out injured. When working in the capacity of a volunteer firefighter, your slary is zero. In the paid-on-call world, you are paid for emergency calls, training, meetings, etc. Obviously in the paid world it is paid by the hour.


What most do know understand is it is not based just from the compensation from the place of employment where you were injured. It is actually 60 percent of an average salary of a certain number of weeks, from EVERY place of employment that has a workers compensation policy in effect. Therefore if you work as a volunteer firefighter and have two jobs. Your compensation claim would be for a combined loss from the two paid (non-fire) related jobs. Your individual medical claims for the injury should be filed through the fire department's workers compensation policy as well. It would be paid for under the liability insurance policy.  Therefore a volunteer's WC benefit is the exact same as the POC or the fulltime firefighter if the volunteer department has a WC policy.


Almost every WC claim is denied the first, second time filed. Welcome to the world of red tape and the mentality of deny, deny, deny  and eventually pay. This is a challenge for everyone in ANY type of employment. As others suggest, an extra policy like AFLAC is a good idea. I have seen some volunteer department's offer this as a benefit for their members, paid for by the department or an association through fundraising, etc.


Not knowing your case and the specifics, I would suggest meeting with the fire chief, HR, town or city manager, to explain the WC denial and that if they can't get the claim filed correctly that you are going to sue the town for the loss wages. Most WC denials are from administrative errors done by the employer and not the employee. Fulltime union fire departments, use their union lawyers to fight for the employee (rights for the worker) this is one reason why union firefighters pay union dues. Regardless there are many lawyers in the world that will take your case, and get paid by the employer when they win your case.


Best of luck

Each state has ther own laws and you are right W/C sucks. I worked as a full time, union, payed Firefighter and when I was injured all I got was W/C. Like some one said AFLAC. and make sure it is for on the job because some will not cover on the Job. I had two policies one for on the job and one for off the job. Make sure you find out how much the maximum payout is. Most have a limit and if you work in a state that is "right to work" you might need more than you think.

We are covered under W.C.B if we get hurt on a call or on the way to or from a call it pays 75% of my wages that i would lose so my cheques would be about the same,hopefully i do not get hurt but if it happens it happens

In Wisconsin Worker's Compensation Benefits for Volunteer/POC FFs is paid at the rate of the salary of the nearest paid fire department.

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