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SOUTH CAROLINA CODE OF LAWS
Title 23 – Law Enforcement and Public Safety
CHAPTER 9 – STATE FIRE MARSHAL
SECTION 23-9-197. Firefighter Cancer Health Care Benefit Plan.
Title 42 – Workers’ Compensation
CHAPTER 11 – OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES
SECTION 42-11-30. Presumptions; heart or respiratory disease as to fire fighters; cardiac-related incident as to law enforcement officers; report of physical examination required.
Section 23-9-197. Firefighter Cancer Health Care Benefit Plan.
(A) As used in this section:
(1) “Cancer” includes malignant neoplasms of the following body areas and organ systems:
(a) central and peripheral nervous system;
(c) respiratory tract;
(d) gastrointestinal tract;
(f) solid organ and endocrine;
(g) genitourinary and male reproductive;
(i) skin, soft tissue, and breast;
(j) bone and blood.
(2) “Fire department” means any organization located and based in this State that provides rescue, fire suppression, and related activities including any public or government-sponsored organizations, excluding federal agencies, engaged in rescue, fire suppression, and related activities.
(3) Firefighter’ means any person, paid or unpaid, who is a resident of this State and engages in rescue, fire suppression, or related activities, under the supervision of a fire chief or fire department in this State or who is employed by the State Commission of Forestry or a forestry district for the purpose of fire protection.
(B) There is established the ‘Firefighter Cancer Health Care Benefit Plan’ to provide a supplemental insurance policy upon a firefighter being diagnosed with cancer. The plan shall provide benefits to a firefighter only if the firefighter has served in a South Carolina fire department for at least five continuous years and been in active service within ten years of the diagnosis.
(C) the plan, upon diagnosis, must entitle an eligible firefighter to:
(1) a reimbursement of up to twelve thousand dollars annually to the firefighter for any out of pocket medical expenses including deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance costs incurred;
(2) a one-time benefit of twenty thousand dollars upon the firefighter’s initial diagnosis; and
(3) a seventy-five thousand dollar death benefit for a firefighter who dies as a result of cancer or circumstances that arise out of the treatment of cancer. All of the benefits arising out of such death are available to the deceased firefighter’s beneficiary.
(D) (1) The program must be established by and administered through the Office of the State Fire Marshal within the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. In selecting the covering insurance policy, the State Fire Marshal must utilize a competitive bidding process amongst private insurers that have such policies available.
(2) Additionally, the State Fire Marshal shall identify best practices to establish employer cancer prevention as it relates to personal protective equipment, decontamination, fire suppression apparatus, and fire stations.
(3) By January first of each year, the State Fire Marshall shall prepare a report detailing the activity of the program in the previous fiscal year. The report shall include, but not be limited to: all expenses and costs associated with administration of the program, all inquiries and quotes received from prospective insurers, the number of eligible firefighters who qualify for coverage, the number of claims, and the amount and type of benefits paid. The report must be delivered to the Department of Insurance, the Senate Finance Committee, and the House Ways and Means Committee.
(E) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the implementation and operation of the Firefighter Cancer Health Care Benefit Plan and the benefits contained herein are contingent upon appropriate funding.
This act takes effect July 1, 2021.
Presumptions; heart or respiratory disease as to fire fighters; cardiac-related incident as to law enforcement officers.
(A) Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, for purposes of the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law, any impairment or injury to the health of a fire fighter caused by heart disease or respiratory disease resulting in total or partial disability or death is presumed to have arisen out of and in the course of employment, unless the contrary is shown by competent evidence, if the fire fighter is at the time of such impairment or injury a bona fide member of a municipal, county, state, port authority, or fire control district fire department in this State. In order to be entitled to the presumption provided for in this section, any person becoming a member of a fire department after May 29, 1968, must be under the age of thirty-seven years and must have successfully passed a physical examination by a competent physician upon entering into such service, a written report of which must have been made and filed with the fire department, which examination failed to reveal any evidence of such condition or conditions, and the condition or conditions developed while actively engaged in fighting a fire or within twenty-four hours from the date of last service in the activity.
(B) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, for purposes of the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law, a cardiac-related incident resulting in impairment or injury to a law enforcement officer resulting in total or partial disability, or death, is presumed to have arisen out of and in the course of employment if this impairment or injury developed while actively engaged in, or within twenty-four hours from the date of, a law enforcement incident involving unusual or extraordinary physical exertion, unless the contrary is shown by competent evidence. At the time of the incident, the law enforcement officer must be employed as a law enforcement officer of a municipal, county, state, port authority, or other law enforcement agency in this State. In order to be entitled to the presumption provided by this section, a person becoming a law enforcement officer, must be under thirty-seven years of age and upon entering into the service, must have successfully passed a physical examination which includes a risk factor assessment for coronary artery disease conducted by a competent physician who should counsel on risk factor reduction and consider current medical literature on evaluation and prevention of coronary artery disease in conducting the risk factor assessment. A written report of the examination must have been made and filed with the law enforcement agency, which examination must not have revealed evidence of cardiac impairment or injury. If the law enforcement officer is identified as being a high risk for coronary artery disease during the risk factor assessment and the law enforcement officer fails to undergo, at his own expense, additional medical tests related to discovery of coronary artery disease, he is not entitled to the presumption provided by this section.
(2) If a law enforcement agency cannot produce the report described in subitem (B)(1), the law enforcement officer may submit a written report of a physical examination conducted before July 1, 2012, which includes a risk factor assessment for coronary artery disease conducted by a competent physician who also shall counsel on risk factor reduction and consider current medical literature on evaluation and prevention of coronary artery disease in conducting the risk factor.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 72-251.1; 1968 (55) 2798; 2005 Act No. 108, Section 1, eff upon approval (became law without the Governor’s signature on June 2, 2005); 2010 Act No. 126, Section 1, eff upon approval (became law without the Governor’s signature on February 25, 2010).