In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, thousands of responders and volunteers worked endlessly at Ground Zero, and along the debris routes, on the recovery and cleanup efforts. During that time, these responders — as well as survivors who lived or worked in the NYC Exposure Zone — were exposed to countless carcinogens contained in the toxic dust cloud that covered lower Manhattan in the months ahead. Unfortunately, many of them developed cancers, including 9/11 skin cancer.
Since the condition can take time to develop after exposure to toxins, responders and survivors continue to be diagnosed with skin cancer linked to the terrorist attacks, two decades later. If you’re an eligible 9/11 responder or survivor who developed skin cancer, you may be entitled to receive compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. can help make sure you secure the monetary award you deserve from the VCF.
Types of 9/11 Skin Cancer
Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common form of cancer found in 9/11 responders, and melanoma is the third most prevalent form of cancer diagnosed in them. Non-melanoma skin cancer is also among the top three most frequently diagnosed cancer conditions in survivors who lived or worked in the area south of Canal Street in the months following September 11, 2001.
There are a few types of non-melanoma skin cancers that responders and survivors may develop, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These types of 9/11 skin cancer can appear on the skin as irregular growths or sores on the body. If detected early, non-melanoma cancers may be easier to treat.
Melanoma — also called malignant melanoma or cutaneous melanoma — usually appears as lesions that may evolve in size, shape, or color. According to the American Cancer Society, the following features can help to identify whether a spot that appears on the skin is melanoma:
• Asymmetrical sides
• Irregular or blurred edges
• Varying colors
• 1/4 inch or larger
If melanoma is not treated early, it can spread to other parts of the body, which is why it’s critical for responders and survivors who spent time in the NYC Exposure Zone to register for health monitoring with the WTC Health Program.
VCF Compensation for 9/11 Skin Cancer
A diagnosis of 9/11 skin cancer can cause a considerable amount of worry, anxiety, and concern — and depending on the type of skin cancer and the stage at which it has been discovered, it can involve significant medical treatment or even be fatal. If you were a responder or survivor who was present within the NYC Exposure Zone between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002, you may be entitled to compensation from the VCF.
In order to submit a claim to the VCF, you must first have your 9/11 skin cancer condition certified by the WTC Health Program. It’s important to be aware that there is also a minimum latency period of four years associated with 9/11 skin cancer, beginning on the date of exposure.
The VCF issues awards for both economic and non-economic loss. Economic loss is meant to compensate survivors and responders for the pecuniary damages they suffered in connection with their 9/11-related cancer, including loss of earnings, employment benefits, and out-of-pocket medical expenses. Non-economic loss is awarded by the VCF for the pain and suffering caused by a 9/11-related health condition and is generally capped at $250,000 for cancers — including skin cancer.
Families who have lost loved ones to 9/11 skin cancer may also be eligible to receive compensation for their economic loss, including lost wages, loss of employment benefits, replacement services loss, unreimbursed medical expenses. If the victim died as a result of their 9/11-related skin cancer, their family may also be able to recover burial and memorial costs, and additional non-economic loss of $250,000 for the decedent, as well as $100,000 to the spouse and each dependent.
Contact a 9/11 VCF Attorney Who Can Assist You With Filing a 9/11 Skin Cancer Claim
If you’re a 9/11 responder or survivor who developed skin cancer linked to the terrorist attacks, you may be eligible to receive compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, as well as health monitoring and treatment from the WTC Health Program. Since the VCF’s claim filing process can be complicated, it’s a good idea to work with an attorney who can help you obtain the maximum VCF award you are entitled to receive. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has assisted responders, survivors, and families in the 9/11 community for more than a decade with securing their rightful compensation. Contact us for a consultation.