In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, thousands of FDNY, NYPD, National Guard members, construction workers, EMTs, volunteers, and residents in the NYC Exposure Zone were exposed to various chemicals in the dust cloud that covered the city. As a result, many developed chronic and persistent respiratory disorders that significantly affect their daily lives and ability to work.
Respiratory illnesses are one of the most common 9/11-related health conditions responders and survivors suffer. If you worked at Ground Zero on the rescue or recovery efforts — or lived in the area south of Canal Street — and were diagnosed with a respiratory illness, you may be entitled to compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. assists responders and survivors with filing 9/11 respiratory claims to help ensure they’re awarded fairly for the impact their illnesses had on their lives.
9/11-Related Respiratory Illnesses
The toxic 9/11 dust found in the NYC Exposure Zone and the debris at Ground Zero contained thousands of contaminants. These chemicals caused severe respiratory problems in countless responders and survivors who breathed the air in lower Manhattan in the days, weeks, and months following the terrorist attacks. The WTC Health Program treats and certifies a broad range of respiratory illnesses and aerodigestive disorders that affect respiratory functioning, including:
• Sleep apnea
• Chronic cough
• Chronic laryngitis
• Interstitial lung disease
• Chronic rhinosinusitis
• Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
• Chronic respiratory disorder
• Chronic nasopharyngitis
• New on-set chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
• WTC-exacerbated COPD
• Upper airways hyperreactivity
• Reactive airway dysfunction syndrome (RADS)
9/11 respiratory illness claims can be submitted to the VCF by responders and survivors who were in the NYC Exposure Zone between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002 and have had their conditions certified by the WTC Health Program.
Filing 9/11 Respiratory Claims with the VCF
The VCF accepts 9/11 respiratory claims from eligible responders and survivors who were present in the NYC Exposure Zone in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks. Families who have lost loved ones as a result of a certified 9/11-related respiratory condition can also file a claim for compensation with the VCF.
Those who submit VCF claims for their respiratory illnesses may be entitled to receive an award for their economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages awarded by the VCF may include loss of earnings and benefits, as well as out-of-pocket medical expenses. It may also include replacement services loss, in limited cases. Non-economic loss is determined based on the severity of the condition and is generally capped at $90,000 for non-cancer conditions.
Additionally, certain medications and medical procedures for many WTC Health Program-certified respiratory illnesses are “presumptively compensable” — the VCF does not require additional proof of necessity when filing an amendment for out-of-pocket costs associated with these expenses.
Contact a Skilled 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney
If you were a responder or survivor who suffered an eligible 9/11-related respiratory condition or aerodigestive disorder linked to the toxic dust cloud, you may be entitled to receive an award from the VCF. The regulations to file a VCF claim can be confusing, and it’s critical to have an attorney on your side who can guide you through the process. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has been filing 9/11 respiratory claims on behalf of responders, survivors, and their families for over a decade to help them obtain the VCF payout they deserve. Contact us for a consultation.