The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund recognizes 9/11-related cancers as eligible for compensation for qualifying responders and survivors, as long as the condition is certified by the WTC Health Program. However, uterine cancer is the only type of cancer that is not currently identified on the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions.
Under the Zadroga Act, new 9/11 health conditions may be added to the List if there is a medical basis linking it to the toxic dust cloud. Significantly, the Program’s Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) recently formed a workgroup that will present a case to make uterine cancer a recognized condition.
Proving the Link Between 9/11 Dust Cloud and Uterine Cancer
The dust cloud that covered lower Manhattan in the weeks and months following the 9/11 terrorist attacks contained thousands of carcinogens that have been linked to various types of cancer conditions. Although other female-specific cancers are included on the WTC Health Program’s List, the impact of uterine cancer among responders and survivors has yet to be sufficiently researched — despite being one of the most common cancers found in women.
According to advisory committee panelists, a causal link between uterine cancer and exposure to the dust cloud hasn’t been established due to the lack of studies of women. While the 9/11 survivor community is roughly 50% female, only 32.5% have registered with the WTC Health Program. Additionally, 14% of responders, and less than 1% of FDNY responders, are female.
The WTC Health Program had previously received eight submissions requesting to add uterine cancer to the List of covered conditions. While only one qualified as a petition, the Program determined there was not sufficient evidence to include the condition. However, STAC members say the addition of uterine cancer to the List is “very appropriate” as the cancer is plausibly related to 9/11 dust exposure. Critically, the process of adding uterine cancer to the List of covered conditions could take several months.
VCF Compensation for 9/11 Cancers
If you’re a responder or survivor who was diagnosed with cancer linked to the 9/11 dust cloud, you may be entitled to receive an award from the VCF. The VCF provides monetary compensation for the economic and non-economic losses incurred by those who aided in the rescue and recovery efforts — as well as those who lived, worked, and went to school in the NYC Exposure Zone. Importantly, in order to obtain VCF compensation, you must first have your cancer certified by the WTC Health Program.
A VCF award for economic loss is calculated to cover the following:
- Loss of earnings
- Lost employment benefits
- Replacement services loss
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses
Non-economic loss awards are meant to provide compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced due to your 9/11 cancer. Generally, the VCF will award up to a maximum of $250,000 for cancer conditions, per the Zadroga Act. But if you’ve been diagnosed with multiple cancers, the Special Master may issue an award exceeding the statutory cap.
In addition, families who have lost loved ones to a 9/11-related cancer may be entitled to a VCF award. By filing a wrongful death claim with the VCF, they may be able to recover compensation for their economic losses — as well as for the losses the victim incurred during their lifetime. A victim’s spouse and dependents may also be eligible to receive an additional $250,000, plus $100,000 each.
Contact a New York City 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney
If you are a responder or survivor who developed a 9/11 cancer, health condition, or disease, you may be eligible to receive an award from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. However, the policies and procedures are often confusing to understand, and it’s essential to have an experienced 9/11 VCF attorney by your side to ensure you secure the monetary recovery 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.