Construction workers played a critical role in the recovery and cleanup efforts after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Thousands worked 12-hour shifts in the NYC Exposure Zone, operating heavy machinery at Ground Zero and along the debris routes to help rebuild the city. As a result, many of these responders suffered debilitating injuries and developed disabling health conditions, such as cancer, aerodigestive disorders, and respiratory illnesses.
If you were a construction worker in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks and developed a 9/11-related disease or health condition, you may be entitled to an award from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
VCF Eligibility Criteria for 9/11 Construction Workers
Construction workers engaged in dangerous work and heavy lifting after the terrorist attacks. In total, workers cleaned up 1.8 million tons of debris at Ground Zero and in the surrounding area. While carrying out their tasks, these responders were exposed to thousands of toxins that caused hundreds of lifelong — and sometimes fatal — health conditions.
In order for a construction worker to be eligible for VCF compensation, certain eligibility criteria concerning location, presence, and health certification must be satisfied. To receive a VCF award, all 9/11 responders, including construction workers, must have:
- Been diagnosed with a 9/11-related health condition certified by the WTC Health Program
- Aided in the rescue, recovery, and cleanup efforts at Ground Zero, along the debris routes, at the Fresh Kills landfill, or at any location in the NYC Exposure Zone
- Carried out their duties in the time frame defined as the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks, between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002
It’s important to understand that a health condition will not qualify for VCF compensation unless it has been certified as an eligible health condition by the WTC Health Program. The program is a separate entity from the VCF that provides medical monitoring and treatment to 9/11 responders and survivors. Significantly, the eligibility criteria for the WTC Health Program differ from that of the VCF — different time periods and minimum hour requirements are imposed based on the activity that was performed.
VCF Compensation for 9/11 Construction Workers
Exposure to the chemicals and carcinogens in the 9/11 dust cloud caused countless construction workers to develop a wide variety of illnesses, including various types of cancer, as well as disorders affecting the digestive organs, airways, or respiratory tract. Many also experienced acute traumatic injuries and musculoskeletal conditions. Depending on the severity of the illness, a 9/11 health condition can significantly impact a construction worker’s daily life and ability to work.
The VCF issues monetary awards to construction workers who meet the eligibility criteria and have incurred economic and non-economic losses in connection with their 9/11-related health conditions. Economic losses reimbursed by the VCF can include loss of earnings, loss of pension, lost retirement benefits, out-of-pocket medical costs, and any other financial damages in connection with a 9/11-related health condition.
Non-economic losses are meant to cover the pain and suffering a construction worker experienced in connection with their illness. Under the Zadroga Act, a responder may be awarded up to $90,000 for a non-cancer and a maximum of $250,000 for a cancer condition.
Families who have lost loved ones to a 9/11 health condition might also be eligible to recover an award for their economic and non-economic losses, provided the eligibility criteria are satisfied.
Contact an Experienced 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney
If you were a construction worker who worked at Ground Zero or in the NYC Exposure Zone after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and developed an illness linked to the dust cloud, you may be entitled to compensation from the VCF. However, the VCF’s registration and claim filing process can often be confusing. It’s best to have an experienced 9/11 VCF attorney by your side who can help ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve.
The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorneys at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. have represented claimants and their families in 9/11 VCF claims for more than a decade. For a free consultation, contact us today.