Presumptive Disability Law in Newfoundland and Labrador

NL House of Assembly –

Newfoundland Legislative Website

92.1 In this Part

  1. “fire department” means a fire department organized under the Municipalities Act, 1999, the City of St. John’s Act, the City of Corner Brook Act and the Regional Service Boards Act, 2012 and also includes a fire department established by an Inuit Community Government under the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act;
  2. “fire and emergency services employee” means a person employed with the department responsible for fire and emergency services and whose duties include
    1. investigating the cause, origin or circumstances of fires,
    2. firefighting, or
    3. delivering fire investigation or firefighting training;
  3. “firefighter” means
    1. a member of a fire department,
    2. a member of an industrial fire department, or
    3. a fire and emergency services employee;
  4. “industrial fire department” means an organization established by an employer to protect the employer’s premises where the nature of the employer’s business creates specific hazards for which specialized firefighting training or equipment is required;
  5. “listed disease” means
    Item  Occupational Disease  Minimum Cumulative Period 
    1  primary site brain cancer  10 years 
    2  primary site bladder cancer  15 years 
    3  primary site colorectal cancer  20 years 
    4  primary site esophageal cancer  25 years 
    5  primary leukemia  5 years 
    6  primary site lung cancer  15 years 
    7  primary site kidney cancer  20 years 
    8  primary non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma  20 years 
    9  primary site testicular cancer  20 years 
    10  primary site ureter cancer  15 years 
    11  primary site breast cancer  10 years 
    12  primary site penile cancer  15 years 
    13  primary site pancreatic cancer  10 years 
    14  primary site thyroid cancer  10 years 
    15  multiple myeloma  15 years 
    16  primary site prostate cancer  15 years 
    17  primary site cervical cancer  10 years 
    18  primary site ovarian cancer  15 years 
    19  primary site skin cancer  15 years 
    20 an injury to the heart that manifests within 24 hours after attendance at an emergency response none
  6. “volunteer firefighter” means a volunteer member of a fire department or brigade admitted by the commission under section 15 of the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Regulations and considered to be a worker.



  1. Where a worker who is or has been a firefighter or a volunteer firefighter is diagnosed with a listed disease and is as a result disabled or his or her death caused by a listed disease,
    1. the listed disease is presumed to be due to the nature of his or her employment as a firefighter or volunteer firefighter unless there is evidence to the contrary; and
    2. the worker or his or her dependents are entitled to compensation as if the disease were an injury and the date of disablement were the date of injury.
  2. The presumption in subsection (1) applies to a worker
    1. who has been a firefighter or a volunteer firefighter for at least the cumulative period of service prescribed in the regulations; and
    2. who has been regularly exposed to the hazards of a fire scene, other than a forest fire scene, throughout that period.
  3. In addition to the requirements in subsection (2), the presumption for primary site lung cancer applies only to a firefighter or volunteer firefighter who has not smoked a tobacco product in the 10 years immediately before the date of the diagnosis.
  4. Notwithstanding subsection (1), the presumption for primary site colorectal cancer does not apply to a firefighter or volunteer firefighter who is diagnosed with primary site colorectal cancer after the age of 61.

Medical aid


  1. There is no entitlement to medical aid under this Part in respect of a firefighter or volunteer firefighter diagnosed with a listed disease where the medical aid is a service insured under the Medical Care and Hospital Insurance Act, the Hospital Insurance Regulations and the Medical Care Insurance Insured Services Regulations.
  2. Nothing in subsection (1) affects the commission’s authority under this Act to request information, records and reports and to provide payment for them as authorized by this Act.


92.4 The presumption in section 92.2 applies to

  1. a firefighter who is diagnosed with a listed disease on or after December 14, 2015; and
  2. a volunteer firefighter who is diagnosed with a listed disease after the coming into force of this Part.


92.5 The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations

  1. prescribing the cumulative period of service for the purposes of paragraph 92.2(2)(a);
  2. prescribing the documents, books and records that may be required by the commission respecting firefighters and volunteer firefighters; and
  3. generally, to give effect to this Part.

92.6 (1) In this Part,

  1. “post-traumatic stress disorder” means post-traumatic stress disorder as described in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association;
  2. “psychiatrist” means a medical doctor who
    (i) has completed a residency in psychiatry,
    (ii) has been certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada,
    (iii) is registered with the licensing board in the jurisdiction in which he or she practices, and
    (iv) whose registration is not suspended, cancelled or withdrawn; and
  3. “registered psychologist” means a person who
    (i) holds a master’s or doctorate degree in psychology,
    (ii) is registered with the licensing board in the jurisdiction in which he or she practices, and
    (iii) whose registration is not suspended, cancelled or withdrawn.
    (2) Where a worker
    (a) is exposed to a traumatic event or events in the course of the worker’s employment; and
    (b) is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by a psychiatrist or a registered psychologist, the post-traumatic stress disorder shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, to be an injury that arose out of and in the course of the worker’s employment.(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), post-traumatic stress disorder that may be the result of an employer’s decision or action relating to the employment of a worker including a decision to change the work to be performed or the working conditions, to discipline the worker or to terminate the worker’s employment does not constitute an injury.


92.7 The presumption in section 92.6 applies to injuries occurring on or after July 1, 2019.

Updated on August 3, 2023