Lower Manhattan Residents
If you've become ill, or lost a loved one, from 9/11-related conditions you may be eligible for health benefits and cash compensation. Contact Gregory J. Cannata & Associates to see if you qualify.

VCF Eligibility for Lower Manhattan Residents

Thousands of Lower Manhattan residents and workers were exposed to toxic conditions on 9/11 and in the months following the tragic terrorist attacks. If you, or a loved one, have developed a medical condition you believe is linked to 9/11 you may be eligible for health benefits and cash compensation.

Contact Gregory J. Cannata & Associates today to discuss the application process and learn if you are eligible to receive cash compensation from the Victim Compensation Fund. Call 1-888-982-8248 or contact us online today.

Long-Term Health Effects of 9/11 on Lower Manhattan Residents

When terrorists crashed two airplanes into the World Trade Center Towers, they created a toxic cloud containing 91,000 liters of burning jet fuel and 10 million tons of building materials, including asbestos, burning plastic dioxins and concrete dust. The cloud expanded beyond the crash site in New York City from lower Manhattan to Canal Street across the East River into Brooklyn and to the ocean, creating the exposure zone. 

Lower Manhattan residents, office workers, and first responders noticed respiratory signs right away, including acute cough, wheezing, sinusitis, and laryngitis. Others faced more severe symptoms as time passed, including feeling constantly breathless and coughing up blood. Today, many individuals have been diagnosed with lung conditions, including asthma, interstitial lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sarcoidosis, and cancer. Survivors faced mounting medical bills, lost wages, and sometimes, permanent disability due to the 9/11 disaster. 

The circumstances demanded help for those affected by the attacks. President Bush authorized the first September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) in December 2001. Unfortunately, the program ran out of money in 2004. However, types of cancer caused by the toxic dust cloud did not emerge until later, leaving more people needing support. This situation spurred more congressional action. 

President Obama reauthorized the VCF by signing the James Zadroga Act of 2010 and reauthorizing the VCF again in 2015. In 2019, the VCF received permanent authorization for funds. Now, the fund remains in effect until 2090, with $10 billion available to help first responders, workers, and residents within the exposure zone on or after September 11, 2001.

The legislation also created the World Trade Center Health Program (WTC Health Program), which provided medical monitoring and treatment to WTC victims. Many people enjoyed the peace of mind associated with receiving no-cost medical treatment that was not subject to the same limits as their health insurance. 

You may be entitled to a VCF payment if your location on or after September 11, 2001, was within the NYC Map Of Exposure Zone. General WTC illness eligibility requirements include the location factor and whether your illness is among the covered conditions in the VCF and World Trade Center Health Program (WTC Health Program). 

The documentation requirements for these factors are immense. Many people who try to complete an application without attorney assistance soon find they are overwhelmed. While over 400,000 people in Lower Manhattan may have faced exposure to the toxic dust cloud, only 9,000 residents have enrolled in the WTC Health Program or VCF. Many do not realize these programs exist or that they may qualify for them. 

Many people have tried to complete the VCF application on their own, only to learn that the process can be very complex, requiring answers to hundreds of questions and downloading numerous documents. Gregory J. Cannata & Associates is here for all WTC terrorist attack victims and survivors. Our law firm has successfully secured $300 million for clients who suffered injury or illness from the attacks. We offer compassion and understanding of your situation, so you feel reassured and heard at every step of the process. 

If you have lost a loved one, have developed cancer, or face diminished earning capacity from an eligible WTC medical condition, we can help you receive the compensation you are entitled to. You did not have to be present on September 11, 2001, to qualify. Call Gregory Cannata & Associates today at (888) 982-8428 or complete our online form to start the application process.

WTC-linked Illnesses and Cancers

The September 11 attacks presented immediate impacts. Besides the horror of the collapsing twin towers, people got hurt. Falling debris resulted in blunt force trauma and hospitalization. Jet fuel set concrete and plastic material ablaze and burned people while exposing them to toxic smoke inhalation. All these injuries required emergency medical care--and the public witnessed them through intense newscasts featuring every terrifying minute. 

But other impacts were invisible. While Lower Manhattan received the worst, the effects kept spreading. Workers transported waste to garbage barges and spent time in 9/11 morgues. This movement spread contamination beyond Lower Manhattan, and only now do we see the long-term health effects from that exposure. Many people reported mental health issues, and doctors diagnosed them with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Congress designed the WTC Health Program and VCF to cover these conditions. While the list of covered conditions is long, they fall under these categories:

  • Cancer: The WTC Health Program recognizes 68 cancers linked to the WTC terrorist attacks, including lung, breast, prostate, blood, colon, trachea, esophageal, kidney, bladder, skin, thyroid, and ovarian cancers. Rare childhood cancers started developing after the attacks as well.
  • Respiratory illness: This class of diseases produced the earlier VCF payouts, including payouts for asthma. They include new asthma diagnoses, chronic cough, new and exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic rhinosinusitis, and nasopharyngitis. 
  • Mental health: September 11th-related trauma produced a host of mental trauma, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, alcohol addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 
  • Traumatic injuries: Common injuries included burns, blunt force trauma, complex sprains and strains, fractures, head injuries, and torn tendons.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders: These disorders only apply to first responders, and they include lower back pain, carpal tunnel, and other conditions that developed as a result of working on 9/11-related emergencies. 

If you do not see your illness listed, do not assume you are not an eligible claimant. This list contains examples of covered conditions, and it is not all-inclusive. There is a good chance you have a qualifying condition, and our VCF attorneys are willing to dig through pages of legislation to find your health issue. Call us and schedule a free consultation before deciding you cannot qualify for the WTC Health Program or VCF. 

Zadroga Act Benefits for Lower Manhattan Residents & Workers

The list of covered health conditions for VCF is immense. It can take a while to determine if you qualify and find a program-certified physician to diagnose and treat you for a WTC condition. If you are not certified for the WTC Health Program, securing a VCF payment is difficult--if not impossible. 

Rather than jump through these frustrating and overwhelming hurdles on your own, hire VCF lawyers to guide you every step along the way. We file many of these claims, and while the process is challenging for you, it is nearly routine for us. Our attorneys break this down into manageable for each client, and we collect the information from you or your doctors. If you have questions or need help managing required documentation, we are here for you. 

After you sign a fee agreement, our attorney-client relationship is official. Our first step toward a VCF payment is to see if you qualify for enrollment. 

You may be eligible for a cash payment if you were in the NYC exposure zone between September 11, 2001, and July 31, 2002, and a member of any of the following eligible groups:

  • Fire Department - City of New York: Includes firefighters and FDNY emergency personnel working at the WTC site and throughout the exposure zone. 
  • General Responders: Includes rescue, recovery, cleanup, and other emergency support services, including the NYPD. It also includes those responsible for debris removal and transporting it from Ground Zero. 
  • Survivors: Anyone who lived, worked, attended school, or used daycare or adult daycare in the exposure zone.
  • Pentagon/Shanksville Responders: Includes rescue, recovery, cleanup, and other emergency support services performed at the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 

Once we establish that you are in an eligible group, we see if your diagnosis is a covered condition that likely resulted from WTC contamination. There are hundreds of conditions the WTC Health Program and VCF consider qualified, and they fall into the categories discussed above. 

For qualified individuals, VCF payouts are awarded based on specific economic and non-economic damages.  

Economic damages are quantifiable and based on documentary evidence. They include:

  • Lost wages 
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Medical expenses
  • Cost of additional needed services due to illness, including house cleaning, transportation, child care, and other similar costs. 

Non-economic damage is subjective and depends on your personal experience. These damages include:

  • Pain and suffering 
  • Reduced enjoyment of life
  • Emotional and physical challenges arising from disability
  • Grief and loss of companionship (in survivor cases)

A VCF special master reviews evidence that we submit to them and determine an award based on your condition and economic losses. 

We will review your case thoroughly and see if your condition falls under the requirements. So far, 9/11 Compensation Fund payouts have helped clients who have been diagnosed with respiratory cancer, B-cell lymphoma, basal cell and squamous cancer, and respiratory illness – just to name a few. 

Our firm also secured payouts for family members who lost loved ones to 9/11-related illnesses like throat cancer, lymphoma, and pancreatic cancer. Almost all victims receive compensation for economic loss, including future lost wages and diminished earning capacity too. 

Even if you do not feel your condition warrants a payout, it is worth the time to review the possibility. Our consultations are free, and you do not owe us fees unless you receive a VCF settlement. You have nothing to lose by asking Gregory Cannata & Associates to review your claim. 

Applying for VCF Benefits

If you face a condition discussed above and believe it developed from 9/11 exposure, consider calling our law firm. At the very least, we can review your qualification elements and see if you are eligible to receive WTC Health Enrollment or a VCF payout. These services come at no cost to you, so it is worth the time and money to pursue these remedies. 

Once we confirm the WTC Health Program covers medical monitoring and treatment for your health condition, we begin the enrollment process. The program has specific criteria for each covered group, including location, dates, and time spent in the exposure zone. Qualifying can be an overwhelming and confusing process but do not worry – we are here to help. 

The WTC Health Program has several complicated policies that may provide for differing amounts of exposure time based upon the nature of your work or presence. 

Our VCF attorneys offer substantial experience navigating the WTC Health Program guidelines and successfully qualifying clients. We will help you understand if you are eligible for a claim based on your individual circumstances and keep you informed throughout the process to be aware of all requirements and deadlines. 

We have an established and successful record with the Victim's Compensation Fund and promise we will do our best and use all skills at our disposal to maximize your compensation. It is difficult to estimate an average VCF payout because circumstances and qualification criteria vary widely among 9/11 victims.  

Representing the VCF Rights of Lower Manhattan Residents & Workers

Over 25,000 residents of Lower Manhattan were in the World Trade Center exposure zone on September 11th and the months that followed. If you were in Lower Manhattan or anywhere in the exposure zone on or around 9/11, you may be entitled to healthcare services and cash compensation. The deadline for starting the VCF claim process approaches quickly. You must register your VCF claim as soon as possible to avoid missing the upcoming deadlines.

Gregory J. Cannata & Associates are skilled VCF lawyers who are ready to review your case and provide you with peace of mind and relief. We do not charge fees until we collect payment for you, and our attorney fees are fair and based on strict requirements in the VCF laws. The money will not solve all of your problems, but a payout and guarantee of healthcare should ease some of your burdens. 

Our consultations are free, so you lose nothing if you schedule a review of your case. Contact us at (888) 982-8428 today to start your claim process. 

References

https://www.vcf.gov/

https://www.vcf.gov/nyc-map-exposure-zone

https://www.cdc.gov/wtc/eligiblegroups.html

https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/16/5/798/xml

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-was-in-the-world-trade-center-plume/

$10 Billion Now Available to 9/11 Victims, Limited Time to Apply
Congress recently extended the deadline for applicants, but strict filing requirements still apply. Contact our VCF lawyers today to learn if you qualify.
Gregory J.
Cannata
Partner
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VCF lawyers Gregory Cannata and Robert Grochow
Robert A.
Grochow
Partner
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