The World Trade Center Health Program was established by the Zadroga Act to provide medical monitoring and treatment to eligible 9/11 responders and survivors. It is a federal program administered through the CDC and a separate entity from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. While each program provides different services and benefits, the WTC Health Program works with the VCF to certify 9/11-related health conditions eligible for compensation from the VCF. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. is dedicated to ensuring that each client who has a 9/11-related physical condition certified by the WTC Health Program receives the compensation they deserve from the VCF.
WTC Health Program Eligibility Requirements
To receive financial compensation from the VCF, responders and survivors must first have their eligible 9/11-related health conditions certified by the WTC Health Program. However, it’s essential to understand that enrolling in the WTC Health Program does not register you with the VCF. Each program has different criteria and eligibility requirements.
Unlike the VCF — which does not impose minimum time or activity requirements — eligibility for medical treatment and monitoring with the WTC Health Program is dependent upon what you were doing in the NYC Disaster Area and how long you were there.
The WTC Health Program offers health care services for 9/11-related health conditions at no charge for responders and survivors, including:
• Active or retired FDNY
• Active or retired NYPD
• Active or retired NY and NJ Port Authority Police
• Con Ed
• Employees of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
• Morgue workers
• Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation Tunnel workers
• Vehicle maintenance workers
• Survivors who were present in the dust cloud on September 11, 2001
• Clean-up or maintenance workers
• Those who lived, worked, attended school, childcare, or daycare in the NYC Disaster Area
• Pentagon and Shanksville responders
Mental health treatment is available through the WTC Health Program for surviving immediate family members of FDNY killed at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, if they previously sought WTC-related mental health treatment prior to September 1, 2008.
Where is the WTC Health Program NYC Disaster Area?
The location defined by the WTC Health Program as the “NYC Disaster Area” encompasses a different area than that which the VCF identifies as the “NYC Exposure Zone.” The NYC Disaster Area includes any area of Manhattan south of Houston Street and any location in Brooklyn 1.5 miles from Ground Zero.
While the NYC Disaster Area is more expansive than the VCF Exposure Zone, presence within the area is only applicable to qualify survivors for medical monitoring and treatment with the program. There are separate WTC Health Program presence criteria for responders based on their specific tasks and assignments.
Conditions Covered by the WTC Health Program
The WTC Health Program monitors, treats, and certifies a wide range of 9/11-related physical health conditions. While the WTC Health Program also offers health services for mental conditions related to 9/11, only physical illnesses and injuries are eligible for VCF compensation.
Eligible conditions covered by the WTC Health Program include all forms of cancer, various respiratory illnesses, lung disease, chronic bronchitis, asthma, COPD, aerodigestive conditions, chronic sinusitis, acute traumatic injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, and any other illnesses and injuries linked to the 9/11 dust cloud or the rescue and recovery efforts.
The WTC Health Program has clinic locations for FDNY, general responders, and survivors in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and upstate New York. A Nationwide Provider Network is also available to serve responders and survivors who live outside the New York City metropolitan area.
Contact a New York City 9/11 VCF Attorney
If you were a responder or survivor who has developed a 9/11-related cancer, illness, or chronic health condition, you may be entitled to receive medical care from the WTC Health Program and compensation from the VCF. An experienced 9/11 VCF attorney can guide you through the complicated and overwhelming VCF claims filing process. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has represented VCF claimants and their families to help them obtain the compensation they deserve for over a decade. Contact us for a consultation.