If you were a 9/11 responder or survivor, you may have sustained severe injuries or suffered a serious health condition as a result of exposure to the toxic dust. Two decades later, thousands who were present in the NYC Exposure Zone during the terrorist attacks or in the aftermath have developed at least one illness or disease linked to 9/11 — many suffer from two conditions or more. The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund recognizes hundreds of 9/11-related physical health conditions for which survivors and responders may receive compensation. If you’re an eligible 9/11 responder or survivor, The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. can help ensure you get the financial award from the VCF you’re rightfully entitled to receive.
Obtaining Certification for 9/11 VCF Eligible Conditions
To submit a claim for VCF compensation, responders and survivors must first have their 9/11 VCF eligible conditions certified by the World Trade Center Health Program. While the WTC Health Program provides medical monitoring and treatment for responders and survivors who have 9/11-related health conditions, it is a separate entity from the VCF. However, the VCF requires that responders and survivors obtain a certification letter for their condition from the WTC Health Program before submitting a claim for compensation. The VCF will not review a claim for compensation or issue an award unless a condition is certified by the WTC Health Program.
As a result of inhaling the toxins and chemicals in the 9/11 dust cloud, thousands of responders and survivors have developed some form of cancer. Since it may take years — or even decades — for cancers and tumors to develop following exposure to carcinogens, responders and survivors continue to be diagnosed with 9/11-related cancers, including:
● Childhood cancers
● Leukemias, lymphoid, and blood cancers
● Colon cancers
● Stomach cancers
● Esophagus cancer
● Eye and orbit cancers
● Female and male breast cancers
● Female and male reproductive organs cancers
● Cancers affecting the head and neck
● Lung cancer
● Respiratory cancers
● Skin cancer
● Thyroid cancer
● Kidney cancer
● Rare cancers
All forms of cancer are recognized as 9/11 VCF eligible conditions for responders and survivors who were in the NYC Exposure Zone. However, the WTC Health Program has assigned minimum latency periods to each specific cancer, ranging from 146 days for leukemias to eleven years for mesothelioma.
What Other 9/11-Related Health Conditions are Compensated?
Cancers aren’t the only illnesses compensated by the VCF — the list of presumptively covered 9/11 VCF eligible conditions is extensive. The WTC Health Program certifies various respiratory diseases, aerodigestive disorders, lung conditions, and various other illnesses linked to 9/11, including:
● Chronic cough syndrome
● Chronic bronchitis
● Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome
● Chronic respiratory disorder
● Upper airway hyperreactivity
● Chronic laryngitis
● Chronic rhinosinusitis
● Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
● Sleep apnea
● Interstitial lung diseases
Treatment is available through the WTC Health Program for responders and survivors who suffer from emotional harm or mental health conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, and major depressive disorder related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, under the Zadroga Act, the VCF only awards compensation to responders and survivors for physical conditions and injuries.
Acute Traumatic Injuries and Musculoskeletal Disorders
In addition to illnesses and diseases linked to inhaling the toxic dust, many responders and survivors sustained physical injuries on September 11, 2001 or during the rescue and recovery efforts. Acute traumatic injuries arising from the rescue and recovery work, such as burns, eye injuries, fractures, head trauma, and tendon tears may be eligible for VCF compensation, as well as carpal tunnel syndrome, low back pain, and other musculoskeletal conditions sustained in connection with the debris removal.
Contact a New York City 9/11 VCF Attorney
If you’re a responder or survivor who was diagnosed with one or more 9/11 VCF eligible conditions, illnesses, or injuries, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for your economic and non-economic loss. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has represented thousands of VCF claimants and their families for over a decade to help them get the compensation they deserve. Contact us for a consultation.