Cancer is one of the most common diseases suffered by 9/11 responders and survivors. Due to inhaling the carcinogens in the dust cloud that covered lower Manhattan in the months following the terrorist attacks, those who spent time in the area have developed various forms of cancer over the last twenty years. For many responders and survivors who have been diagnosed with cancer, their conditions are disabling and debilitating — and may have forced them to retire early. Tragically, for others, their cancer conditions were fatal.
If you are an eligible responder or survivor who suffers from 9/11-related cancer, you may be entitled to receive an award from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. In addition, if you lost a loved one to cancer linked to the toxic dust cloud, you might be entitled to VCF compensation by pursuing a wrongful death claim.
VCF Pain and Suffering Compensation for 9/11 Cancers
Under the Zadroga Act, a 9/11 responder or survivor may be awarded up to $250,000 for non-economic losses related to their cancer condition. This portion of a VCF award is also referred to as the pain and suffering portion of the claim. But not every cancer will be compensated in that amount. The award issued by the VCF depends on the severity of the condition and how it impacts the individual’s daily life.
It’s important to understand that the number of health conditions with which a responder or survivor has been diagnosed doesn’t necessarily mean a higher award amount. However, the VCF may issue an amount above the statutory cap for multiple cancer conditions, or if cancer was diagnosed in addition to a severe non-cancer condition.
VCF Economic Loss Awards for 9/11 Cancer Conditions
The VCF will also award compensation for the economic losses a responder or survivor incurred due to their cancer condition. In calculating economic loss, the VCF will consider the loss of earnings, employment benefits, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and replacement services loss. While documentation must typically be provided in order to be compensated for out-of-pocket medical expenses, medications and procedures in connection with prostate cancer are considered “presumptively compensable” since this cancer condition is so prevalent in the 9/11 community.
Wrongful Death Claims for 9/11 Cancer Conditions
Families who have lost loved ones to a 9/11-related cancer may be eligible to recover their economic losses by filing a wrongful death claim. Recoverable losses can include the victim’s lost earnings, unreimbursed medical expenses, funeral costs, and burial expenses.
The family of a victim may also be entitled to recover compensation for non-economic losses. Notably, there are two parts to a claim for non-economic loss in these cases. The family may recover compensation for the non-economic losses associated with the victim’s personal injury claim in addition to wrongful death compensation. While these components of the award are calculated separately, the Zadroga Act allows the spouse and children of a 9/11 responder or survivor to receive $100,000 each, as well as the presumed amount of $250,000 for the victim.
Contact an Experienced 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney
If you are a 9/11 responder or survivor who developed cancer linked to the dust cloud, you might be entitled to compensation from the VCF. However, it’s vital to have a skilled 9/11 VCF attorney by your side to guide you through the claims process and ensure you receive the award you deserve.
The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorneys at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. have represented claimants and their families in VCF claims for more than a decade. For a free consultation, contact us today.