On September 11, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed several bills into law to support 9/11 survivors and responders, including the 9/11 Notice Act. The Act is meant to help ensure individuals who were in the NYC Exposure Zone in the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001, are aware of their rights to register with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund — and that they can receive medical monitoring and treatment with the World Trade Center Health Program. The first legislation of its kind in the United States, the Act will help thousands of survivors by ensuring they are informed of their rights and will receive the compensation they deserve for any 9/11-related illnesses they may have suffered.
What Does the 9/11 Notice Act Do?
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund is not just limited to first responders. Survivors who lived, worked, or went to school in the area surrounding Ground Zero may also be eligible for compensation if they develop a cancer or disease linked to the toxic dust cloud. Unfortunately, many survivors may be unaware of their rights or have misconceptions about their eligibility.
The 9/11 Notice Act requires businesses and other institutions in Lower Manhattan to notify those who returned to work after the terrorist attacks of their potential eligibility for the VCF and WTC Health Program. Those who may benefit from the Act may include the following workers:
- Retail workers
- Hospitality workers
- Office workers
- Building services staff
- Cleanup workers
- Construction workers
- Delivery people
- Teachers, students, and school staff
- Other workers who were in the NYC Exposure Zone
Specifically, the Act applies to businesses that had 50 or more employees — nearly 400,000 people. It will take effect on June 14, 2024, to allow time for the The NYS Department of Economic Development, the VCF, and the WTC Health Program to develop a plan to provide notice to past and current employees.
What Is the Importance of the 9/11 Notice Act?
Anyone who spent time in the NYC Exposure Zone in the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001, is at risk of developing a variety of health conditions linked to the chemicals, carcinogens, and toxins in the 9/11 dust cloud. The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund recognizes all forms of 9/11-related cancers, respiratory illnesses, and aerodigestive disorders as eligible for compensation for those who satisfy the criteria. However, there is a disproportionately low number of survivors who are enrolled in the WTC Health Program and VCF, as compared to responders.
According to the CDC, fewer than 10% of eligible survivors receive compensation from the VCF for their 9/11-related illnesses. As a result, many survivors may not be receiving the medical treatment or financial assistance they need for their 9/11-related illnesses. The 9/11 Notice Act helps ensure that survivors in the 9/11 community know about the rights and the resources available to them.
Contact an Experienced 9/11 VCF Attorney
If you are a 9/11 survivor who was diagnosed with an illness linked to the toxic dust cloud, it’s important to be aware that you may be eligible to receive compensation from the VCF. It’s best to have a knowledgeable VCF attorney by your side who can advise you regarding your rights and guide you through the process of obtaining 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 over a decade. For a free consultation, contact us today.