The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and several airlines the morning of September 11, 2001, had a much greater health impact on hundreds of first responders and others than anyone could have predicted at the time. The dark day in American history not only claimed nearly 3,000 lives instantly, but it also caused serious health conditions that later proved fatal for some. Lung disease is just one of the many complications that arose for people who inhaled toxic dust while working the Ground Zero clean-up site.
If you developed respiratory diseases in the years after 9/11, you may be eligible for a one-time settlement from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). Gregory Cannata & Associates are able to assist rescue workers and others who later became ill from toxic dust exposure.
If your lung disease or respiratory diseases qualify, we can help you apply to the appropriate programs right away. By working with our attorneys that have several years of experience in lung conditions caused by 9/11, you can avoid frustrating delays from not understanding the documentation requirements or even a denial of your claim.
With the permanent reauthorization of the fund in July 2019, you may be eligible for compensation even if you haven’t been in the past. We invite you to start the process by meeting with one of our personal injury attorneys for a free consultation. You may reach us at 1-888-982-8428 or by completing an appointment request form on our website.
Before you can make a claim with the VCF, we must first enroll you in the WTC Health Program. This enables you to obtain the required certification for your lung disease or respiratory diseases. The program also offers medical monitoring for your health condition and coordination of your medical care related to treating it. We must enroll you in the WTC Health Program by July 2021, the two-year anniversary of the permanent reauthorization of the fund. Prior to getting you enrolled, we need to ensure that you fall into one of four groups of people who potentially developed a serious health condition due to the terrorist attacks. These include:
Each group has several subgroups, each of which has its own criteria regarding your physical location, activity, time spent in the disaster zone, and the minimum number of hours you must have been present. The earliest eligibility date for all programs is September 11, 2001, with ending dates ranging from late 2001 to early 2003. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) oversees the administration of the VCF. It’s okay if you’re not sure which group you belong to from the above list. We can help you determine that when you start working with us.
Specific documentation is needed for the WTC Health Program depending on whether you’re a first responder or a WTC survivor. All documents need to be official copies and prove the eligibility you listed when we submit your registration. Documents required for responders include:
Here are some examples of legal documents that can help you meet this requirement:
If you’re having us register you for the WTC health program as a survivor, you need copies of written documents that prove you lived, worked, attended school, or attended daycare for children or adults in the area declared the New York City Disaster Area between September 11, 2001, and July 31, 2002. Program eligibility also extends to survivors caught in the cloud of dust on the day of the terrorist attacks. The following are acceptable forms of documentation for survivors:
Regardless of the documentation we submit, it must contain your full name the required time period for your claimed activity. We can help you track down these documents if necessary. The WTC Health Program also has stipulations if you’re unable to produce the required documents after all this time.
Our attorneys will submit your application to the WTC Health Program once we’ve helped you determined your classification and submitted the required documentation matching that classification.
Understanding the Victim Compensation Fund
In December 2001, three months after the World Trade Center fell, President George W. Bush authorized the first September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The earliest applicants were those with respiratory diseases, and the program ran until 2004. It then remained dormant until 2010 when President Barack Obama reauthorized it. By this time, the program was seeing many more applicants with slow-growing cancers. Obama again reauthorized the fund in 2015.
In July 2019, President Donald Trump passed legislation from Congress reauthorizing the fund yet again until the year 2090. The official name of the legislation is Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeiffer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. It’s commonly referred to by shorter names, including the Health and Compensation Act or just VCF. Zadroga, Pfeiffer, and Alvarez were all first responders with the New York Police Department (NYPD) or Fire Department New York (FDNY) who passed away from cancer and other serious illnesses after working in the New York City disaster area after the terrorist attacks.
Our firm enrolling you in the Victim Compensation Fund doesn’t obligate us to file a claim right away. It simply reserves a right to do so anytime between now and 2090. We recommend that we enroll you immediately so we take advantage of submitting your claim online which will also enable us to upload supporting documents if we need to amend a previous claim or start a new claim after a previous denial.
The Victim Compensation Fund award for lung conditions caused by 9/11 depends on your diagnosis, the severity, time of exposure, and several other conditions. We are happy to review this with you in more detail during your initial consultation. With so many individual variables, it would be impossible to say the amount you might receive in advance.
According to Robert Brackbill, an author and medical researcher who contributed an article to an open-access journal called Immunology Today, a positive correlation exists between exposure to toxic dust on the single day of September 11, 2001, and the development of chronic lung disease up to 10 years later. Below are the lung diseases and respiratory diseases covered by the Victim Compensation Fund.
Do you have one of these lung conditions caused by 9/11? If so, act now to secure our legal services and our firm will help you register for the World Trade Center Health Program before the July 2021 deadline.
If you’re a first responder, you took the job knowing you faced risk. However, no one could have ever imagined the magnitude of the disaster when the Twin Towers fell along with the incredible destruction across the entire New York City disaster area. It may be frustrating to feel like you served your country in one of its greatest hours of need and never received repayment for your enormous sacrifices. That is one reason the Victim Compensation Fund came together in the first place.
Knowing a resource is available and wading through the complexities to access it are two different things. The WTC Health Program and the Victim Compensation Fund can be intimidating, especially when you developed issues with lung function years ago and need to track down old documentation. We are here to help and answer your questions in every step of the process.
If you feel that you have qualifying lung conditions caused by 9/11 and you meet one of the four classifications described above, we invite you to call 1-888-982-8428 today to get the process started. We serve first responders, survivors, and other qualified persons in NYC, Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, and surrounding areas in New York as well as clients in New Jersey. We look forward to putting our experience to work for you soon.