As a result of the September 11th terrorist attacks, thousands of rescue, recovery, and clean-up workers were injured or developed disabling illnesses linked to the toxic air in the NYC Exposure Zone. Many filed Workers’ Compensation claims to help ease their economic burdens as a result of being physically unable to work. Although Workers’ Compensation can provide financial relief by helping you pay for medical expenses in connection with work-related illnesses or injuries, it only covers a portion of your lost wages — it also doesn’t compensate for loss of pension benefits or pain and suffering.
If you were receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits for your 9/11-related disability, you can still file a claim with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for your economic and non-economic losses if you’re an eligible responder or survivor. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. can help you navigate the process so you can obtain the award you rightfully deserve.
9/11 Workers’ Compensation Claims and VCF Eligible Illnesses and Injuries
If you were diagnosed with a 9/11-related cancer, respiratory illness, aerodigestive disorder, or musculoskeletal condition, the benefits you received from Workers’ Compensation may not have been adequate to cover the full extent of your economic and non-economic loss.
By submitting a VCF claim — even if you filed a 9/11 Workers’ Compensation claim — you can recover compensation for your lost wages and medical treatment that was not reimbursed by the Workers’ Compensation system for your 9/11 illness. Additionally, the VCF awards compensation for the emotional and physical pain and suffering you experienced due to your 9/11-related health condition, unlike Workers’ Compensation.
Families who lost loved ones to an eligible 9/11-related health condition who had been receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits during their lifetime can also file a claim with the VCF for their economic and non-economic losses.
It’s important to understand that the VCF will not compensate you for the recovery you already received as a result of filing a 9/11 Workers’ Compensation claim. The VCF will take any previous compensation provided by Workers’ Compensation into account when calculating your award, factoring it in as a collateral offset.
Workers’ Compensation for 9/11 Volunteers
Volunteers are usually not provided with Workers’ Compensation benefits. However, an exception was made in the case of unpaid volunteers who aided in the rescue, recovery, and clean-up efforts following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, including volunteer firefighters, ambulance workers, and others.
The WTC Volunteer Fund — administered through the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board — was established to provide cash benefits to those who suffered disabilities as a result of 9/11-related health conditions and would otherwise be ineligible for Workers’ Compensation. Volunteers who worked at Ground Zero or in the NYC Exposure Zone in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and received Workers’ Compensation benefits may also file a claim with the VCF.
Contact an Experienced VCF Attorney to Obtain the Compensation You Deserve
If you filed a 9/11 Workers’ Compensation claim, you may still be entitled to receive a monetary award from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund if you’re an eligible responder or survivor. However, the VCF claims filing process can be frustrating, confusing, and overwhelming — it’s best to have an attorney on your side who has the knowledge and experience to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has been representing the 9/11 community for their VCF claims for over a decade. Contact us for a consultation.