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What are the Top 10 Health Conditions in 9/11 Responders and Survivors?


The toxins found in the 9/11 dust cloud have been linked to numerous illnesses and severe health problems. Countless responders who aided in the recovery efforts — and those who lived, worked, or went to school in the NYC Exposure Zone — have developed cancers, aerodigestive disorders, respiratory illnesses, and other conditions.

While some responders and survivors developed illnesses in the weeks following the terrorist attacks, many 9/11-related health conditions have long latency periods and are still being diagnosed twenty years later. Critically, the World Trade Center Health Program has found that there are ten health conditions that occur most frequently.

10 Most Commonly Certified 9/11 Health Conditions

In order to receive compensation for a 9/11-related health condition from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, the illness must first be certified by the WTC Health Program. While the WTC Health Program diagnoses and provides treatment for mental health conditions in connection with the terrorist attacks — in addition to physical conditions — the VCF only provides compensation for physical illnesses.

According to the WTC Health Program’s statistics, the following are the most commonly certified 9/11 health conditions in responders and survivors:

  • Chronic Rhinosinusitis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
  • Cancers
  • Asthma
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Chronic Respiratory Disorder
  • WTC-Exacerbated Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Anxiety
  • Major Depressive Disorder

Significantly, 29% of responders and survivors registered with the WTC Health Program have one certified condition — 71% of those registered have two or more certified conditions.

Although the above are the most common health conditions certified in responders and survivors, it should be noted that the WTC Health Program diagnoses and treats all forms of cancer, acute and traumatic injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, and a wide variety of airway and digestive disorders.

Enrolling with the WTC Health Program

If you are a 9/11 responder or survivor, it’s crucial to ensure you are enrolled in the WTC Health Program. Even if you have registered with the VCF, it’s important to be aware that the two entities are separate and have their own distinct eligibility criteria. The WTC Health Program offers health monitoring and screenings at no cost to those who were within the NYC Disaster Area within a certain time frame following September 11, 2001. The eligibility criteria for responders and survivors is specific depending upon their activity and the amount of time they spent in the area.

Once you are enrolled in the WTC Health Program, you can visit any one of the Clinical Centers of Excellence throughout the New York metropolitan area for your initial health evaluation and annual monitoring exams.

If you live outside the NYC area, there is a Nationwide Provider Network that provides medical care for 9/11-related health conditions. FDNY responders can obtain medical treatment and monitoring through the FDNY WTC Health Program Clinical Center.

After your eligible 9/11-related health condition has been certified by the WTC Health Program, you may be entitled to receive a monetary award from the VCF for the economic and non-economic losses you have incurred as a result of your illness.  

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

A 9/11-related health condition can have a significant impact on your life — physically, financially, and emotionally. If you’re a responder or survivor who was diagnosed with an illness linked to the 9/11 dust cloud, you may be eligible to receive compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. However, the procedures, regulations, and deadlines can often be confusing to understand. It’s best to have a knowledgeable 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorney by your side who can help ensure you obtain the award you are rightfully entitled to receive.

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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