When terrorists attacked the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, thousands of brave and selfless American heroes responded to aid in the rescue and recovery efforts. These courageous men and women were firefighters, police officers, EMTs, members of the National Guard, electricians, construction workers, doctors, medical professionals, plumbers, ironworkers, volunteers, and many others. Tirelessly working in the days and months ahead, they helped rebuild a city and country to be stronger than it was before, after the most destructive attack on American soil in history.
Tragically, countless responders who were present at Ground Zero, and survivors who lived in lower Manhattan, continue to suffer from devastating health effects linked to the September 11th terrorist attacks. The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund — also known as the “VCF” — was established to ensure that those who developed eligible 9/11-related health conditions and cancers get the compensation they deserve. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. is committed to helping responders, survivors, and their families navigate the complexities of the VCF claims process and recover the highest awards possible for their losses.
Who is Eligible for VCF Compensation?
Many responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and residents who lived south of Canal Street developed severe illnesses linked to the carcinogens and chemicals at Ground Zero and in the NYC Exposure Zone. Over the last two decades, they have been diagnosed with conditions such as cancers, respiratory ailments, lung disease, nasal cavity injuries, and aerodigestive disorders — all proven to be connected with the toxins found in the 9/11 dust cloud.
Any responder who assisted with the recovery efforts in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks — September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002 — who later developed an eligible 9/11-related health condition or cancer can submit a claim for compensation to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Eligible responders include those who were at Ground Zero, at any location within the NYC Exposure Zone, as well as anyone who performed work along the debris route.
Survivors can also submit claims to the VCF if they meet the qualifying criteria. Those who lived, worked, and went to school within the NYC Exposure Zone or volunteered to help with the rescue and recovery efforts at any time in the immediate aftermath of the attacks may be entitled to receive compensation from the VCF for their eligible 9/11-related health conditions.
Additionally, families of responders or survivors who passed away as a result of their 9/11-related illness or injuries may be entitled to receive compensation on behalf of their loved one and for the loss they’ve suffered.
What Conditions Are Covered by the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund?
The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund recognizes hundreds of physical injuries, illnesses, and diseases related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks that are eligible for monetary compensation. The qualifying health conditions fall under four general categories:
• Acute traumatic injuries — this category covers a wide range of physical injuries resulting from falling debris on 9/11 or during the hazardous removal work.
• Aerodigestive disorders — these illnesses generally affect breathing airways and the upper digestive tract and can include conditions such as GERD, sleep apnea, interstitial lung disease, and asthma.
• Musculoskeletal Disorders — conditions that fall within this group can include carpal tunnel syndrome, low back pain, and other disorders of the bone and muscle system caused by heavy lifting and strain.
• Any form of cancer — all types of eligible cancers are recognized by the VCF, including leukemia, blood cancers, breast cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer, mesothelioma, and rare cancers.
Importantly, before the VCF will consider any claim, the eligible 9/11-related health condition must be certified by the World Trade Center Health Program. There are also strict registration deadlines, as well as specific procedures that must be followed when submitting a claim.
Contact an Experienced 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney
If you were a responder or survivor who developed an eligible 9/11-related health condition, you may be entitled to compensation from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Trying to navigate the VCF claims process can be overwhelming and confusing — but you don’t have to go through it alone. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has represented thousands of first responders, firemen, police officers, volunteers, office workers, New York City residents, and many others who have suffered 9/11-related health conditions, helping them obtain the compensation they’re entitled to receive from the VCF. Contact us for a consultation.