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Sarcoidosis in 9/11 Responders and Survivors


Exposure to the toxins in the 9/11 dust cloud caused many responders and survivors to develop various cancers and other severe health conditions. One common illness suffered by those who spent time at Ground Zero and the surrounding area in the weeks after the September 11th terrorist attacks is sarcoidosis. Studies show an especially high incidence of this condition in 9/11 EMS workers and firefighters.

If you are an eligible responder or survivor who suffers from sarcoidosis, you may be entitled to receive medical monitoring and treatment from the WTC Health Program. You may also be able to obtain a monetary award for the economic and non-economic losses you suffered due to the condition from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.    

Symptoms of Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis is a disease that causes small patches of inflammatory cells to develop in any of the body’s organs. These cells often develop in the lungs and lymph nodes. However, the disease can also impact the eyes, skin, heart, and other organs. 

Symptoms of 9/11 sarcoidosis commonly include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of weight
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Swelling and pain in the joints
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin rashes, sores, or growths

Other symptoms may present as well, depending upon which body part the disease affects. For instance, if sarcoidosis affects the eyes, it can cause blurred vision, eye pain, and sensitivity to light. Cardiac sarcoidosis symptoms include chest pain, irregular heartbeats, palpitations, and edema.

Sarcoidosis can be difficult to detect early since disease symptoms often mimic other health conditions. A doctor may use diagnostic testing such as blood and urine tests, chest X-rays, biopsies, MRIs, CT scans, lung function tests, and EKGs to diagnose sarcoidosis. Although there is no known cure for sarcoidosis, it can be treated with certain medications. While sarcoidosis can go away on its own in some cases, it may last for years in others and can cause damage to internal organs.

VCF Compensation for 9/11 Sarcoidosis

In some cases, sarcoidosis can lead to nerve damage and can cause a significant amount of pain. However, even mild cases can substantially affect a responder or survivor’s daily life and ability to earn a living. The VCF recognizes the impact sarcoidosis can have on a responder, survivor, and family.

While the WTC Health Program offers medical monitoring and treatment to responders and survivors who have been diagnosed with 9/11 sarcoidosis, the VCF awards compensation to those who have been certified by the Program with this condition. Critically, these two entities are separate but work closely together to help responders and survivors obtain the compensation they deserve for their 9/11-related illnesses. 

Specifically, the VCF issues awards for the economic losses a responder or survivor incurred because of a 9/11 sarcoidosis diagnosis. An economic loss award may cover lost earnings, benefits, replacement services loss, and out-of-pocket expenses in connection with medical treatment for the disease. 

Under the Zadroga Act, the VCF may also issue a non-economic loss award for the physical pain and emotional suffering a responder or survivor experienced due to the condition. Non-cancer conditions, such as sarcoidosis, may be compensated in amounts between $10,000 and $90,000, depending upon the severity of the condition and its impact on the responder or survivor’s daily life.  

Contact a New York City 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney

If you were diagnosed with 9/11 sarcoidosis, you might be eligible to receive a monetary award from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. However, the process of registering with the VCF and filing a claim is often confusing. It’s best to have a knowledgeable 9/11 VCF attorney by your side to secure the maximum 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.


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