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CODE PART:

Illinois Compiled Statutes: Government
Chapter 40: Pensions
40 ILCS 5: Illinois Pension Code
Article 4: Firefighters’ pension fund municipalities 500,000 and under
§4-110.1: Disability pension-line of duty
4-112. Determination of disability

Illinois Compiled Statutes: Business and Employment
Chapter 820: EMPLOYMENT
820 ILCS 305: Workers’ Compensation Act.
820 ILCS 310: Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act.

Illinois Legislative Website

DESCRIPTION:

40 ILCS 4-110.1 Disability pension-line of duty

Sec. 4-110.1. Occupational disease disability pension. The General Assembly finds that service in the fire department requires firefighters in times of stress and danger to perform unusual tasks; that firefighters are subject to exposure to extreme heat or extreme cold in certain seasons while performing their duties; that they are required to work in the midst of and are subject to heavy smoke fumes, and carcinogenic, poisonous, toxic or chemical gases from fires; and that these conditions exist and arise out of or in the course of employment.

An active firefighter with 5 or more years of creditable service who is found, pursuant to Section 4-112, unable to perform his or her duties in the fire department by reason of heart disease, stroke, tuberculosis, or any disease of the lungs or respiratory tract, resulting from service as a firefighter, is entitled to an occupational disease disability pension during any period of such disability for which he or she has no right to receive salary.

Any active firefighter who has completed 5 or more years of service and is unable to perform his or her duties in the fire department by reason of a disabling cancer, which develops or manifests itself during a period while the firefighter is in the service of the fire department, shall be entitled to receive an occupational disease disability benefit during any period of such disability for which he or she does not have a right to receive salary. In order to receive this occupational disease disability benefit, (i) the type of cancer involved must be a type which may be caused by exposure to heat, radiation or a known carcinogen as defined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and (ii) the cancer must (and is rebuttably presumed to) arise as a result of service as a firefighter.

A firefighter who enters the service after August 27, 1971 shall be examined by one or more practicing physicians appointed by the board. If the examination discloses impairment of the heart, lungs or respiratory tract, or the existence of any cancer, the firefighter shall not be entitled to the occupational disease disability pension unless and until a subsequent examination reveals no such impairment or cancer.

40 ILCS 4-112 Determination of disability
Sec. 4-112. Determination of disability; restoration to active service; disability cannot constitute cause for discharge. A disability pension shall not be paid until disability has been established by the board by examinations of the firefighter at pension fund expense by 3 physicians selected by the board and such other evidence as the board deems necessary. The 3 physicians selected by the board need not agree as to the existence of any disability or the nature and extent of a disability. Medical examination of a firefighter receiving a disability pension shall be made at least once each year prior to attainment of age 50 in order to verify continuance of disability, except that a medical examination of a firefighter receiving a disability pension for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to his or her service as a firefighter shall not be made if: (1) the firefighter has attained age 45; (2) the firefighter has provided to the board documentation approving the discontinuance of the medical examination from at least 2 physicians; and (3) at least 4 members of the board have voted in the affirmative to allow the firefighter to discontinue the medical examination. No examination shall be required after age 50. No physical or mental disability that constitutes, in whole or in part, the basis of an application for benefits under this Article may be used, in whole or in part, by any municipality or fire protection district employing firefighters, emergency medical technicians, or paramedics as cause for discharge.
Upon satisfactory proof to the board that a firefighter on the disability pension has recovered from disability, the board shall terminate the disability pension. The firefighter shall report to the marshal or chief of the fire department, who shall thereupon order immediate reinstatement into active service, and the municipality shall immediately return the firefighter to its payroll, in the same rank or grade held at the date he or she was placed on disability pension. If the firefighter must file a civil action against the municipality to enforce his or her mandated return to payroll under this paragraph, then the firefighter is entitled to recovery of reasonable court costs and attorney’s fees.
The firefighter shall be entitled to 10 days notice before any hearing or meeting of the board at which the question of his or her disability is to be considered, and shall have the right to be present at any such hearing or meeting, and to be represented by counsel; however, the board shall not have any obligation to provide such fireman with counsel.
(Source: P.A. 100-1097, eff. 8-26-18.)

820 ILCS 305: Workers’ Compensation Act.

(f) Any condition or impairment of health of an employee employed as a firefighter, emergency medical technician (EMT), emergency medical technician-intermediate (EMT-I), advanced emergency medical technician (A-EMT), or paramedic which results directly or indirectly from any bloodborne pathogen, lung or respiratory disease or condition, heart or vascular disease or condition, hypertension, tuberculosis, or cancer resulting in any disability (temporary, permanent, total, or partial) to the employee shall be rebuttably presumed to arise out of and in the course of the employee’s firefighting, EMT, or paramedic employment and, further, shall be rebuttably presumed to be causally connected to the hazards or exposures of the employment. This presumption shall also apply to any hernia or hearing loss suffered by an employee employed as a firefighter, EMT, EMT-I, A-EMT, or paramedic. However, this presumption shall not apply to any employee who has been employed as a firefighter, EMT, or paramedic for less than 5 years at the time he or she files an Application for Adjustment of Claim concerning this condition or impairment with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. The rebuttable presumption established under this subsection, however, does not apply to an emergency medical technician (EMT), emergency medical technician-intermediate (EMT-I), advanced emergency medical technician (A-EMT), or paramedic employed by a private employer if the employee spends the preponderance of his or her work time for that employer engaged in medical transfers between medical care facilities or non-emergency medical transfers to or from medical care facilities. The changes made to this subsection by Public Act 98-291 shall be narrowly construed. The Finding and Decision of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission under only the rebuttable presumption provision of this subsection shall not be admissible or be deemed res judicata in any disability claim under the Illinois Pension Code arising out of the same medical condition; however, this sentence makes no change to the law set forth in Krohe v. City of Bloomington, 204 Ill.2d 392.
(Source: P.A. 98-291, eff. 1-1-14; 98-874, eff. 1-1-15; 98-973, eff. 8-15-14; 99-78, eff. 7-20-15; 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)

820 ILCS 310: Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act.

Any condition or impairment of health of an employee employed as a firefighter, emergency medical technician (EMT), emergency medical technician-intermediate (EMT-I), advanced emergency medical technician (A-EMT), or paramedic which results directly or indirectly from any bloodborne pathogen, lung or respiratory disease or condition, heart or vascular disease or condition, hypertension, tuberculosis, or cancer resulting in any disability (temporary, permanent, total, or partial) to the employee shall be rebuttably presumed to arise out of and in the course of the employee’s firefighting, EMT, EMT-I, A-EMT, or paramedic employment and, further, shall be rebuttably presumed to be causally connected to the hazards or exposures of the employment. This presumption shall also apply to any hernia or hearing loss suffered by an employee employed as a firefighter, EMT, EMT-I, A-EMT, or paramedic. However, this presumption shall not apply to any employee who has been employed as a firefighter, EMT, EMT-I, A-EMT, or paramedic for less than 5 years at the time he or she files an Application for Adjustment of Claim concerning this condition or impairment with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. The rebuttable presumption established under this subsection, however, does not apply to an emergency medical technician (EMT), emergency medical technician-intermediate (EMT-I), advanced emergency medical technician (A-EMT), or paramedic employed by a private employer if the employee spends the preponderance of his or her work time for that employer engaged in medical transfers between medical care facilities or non-emergency medical transfers to or from medical care facilities. The changes made to this subsection by this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly shall be narrowly construed. The Finding and Decision of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission under only the rebuttable presumption provision of this paragraph shall not be admissible or be deemed res judicata in any disability claim under the Illinois Pension Code arising out of the same medical condition; however, this sentence makes no change to the law set forth in Krohe v. City of Bloomington, 204 Ill.2d 392.

Sec. 4-112. Determination of disability; restoration to active service; disability cannot constitute cause for discharge. A disability pension shall not be paid until disability has been established by the board by examinations of the firefighter at pension fund expense by 3 physicians selected by the board and such other evidence as the board deems necessary. The 3 physicians selected by the board need not agree as to the existence of any disability or the nature and extent of a disability. Medical examination of a firefighter receiving a disability pension shall be made at least once each year prior to attainment of age 50 in order to verify continuance of disability, except that a medical examination of a firefighter receiving a disability pension for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to his or her service as a firefighter shall not be made if: (1) the firefighter has attained age 45; (2) the firefighter has provided to the board documentation approving the discontinuance of the medical examination from at least 2 physicians; and (3) at least 4 members of the board have voted in the affirmative to allow the firefighter to discontinue the medical examination. No examination shall be required after age 50. No physical or mental disability that constitutes, in whole or in part, the basis of an application for benefits under this Article may be used, in whole or in part, by any municipality or fire protection district employing firefighters, emergency medical technicians, or paramedics as cause for discharge.
Upon satisfactory proof to the board that a firefighter on the disability pension has recovered from disability, the board shall terminate the disability pension. The firefighter shall report to the marshal or chief of the fire department, who shall thereupon order immediate reinstatement into active service, and the municipality shall immediately return the firefighter to its payroll, in the same rank or grade held at the date he or she was placed on disability pension. If the firefighter must file a civil action against the municipality to enforce his or her mandated return to payroll under this paragraph, then the firefighter is entitled to recovery of reasonable court costs and attorney’s fees.
The firefighter shall be entitled to 10 days notice before any hearing or meeting of the board at which the question of his or her disability is to be considered, and shall have the right to be present at any such hearing or meeting, and to be represented by counsel; however, the board shall not have any obligation to provide such fireman with counsel.
(Source: P.A. 100-1097, eff. 8-26-18.)