The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and airline crash sites were a tragedy for the entire nation. For some, however, the terrorist attacks cost them their lives or permanently impacted their health.
For office workers, residents, students, people commuting through lower Manhattan and first responders, police officers, firefighters, and people in charge of debris removal, the nightmare that happened over 20 years ago never ended.
If you developed cancer, other serious health problems, or are the family member of someone who died of an illness related to the terrorist attacks, you may be eligible for compensation and medical care under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
Gregory Cannata & Associates, a prominent personal injury law firm in New York City, helps all individuals affected by the events of 9/11 and its aftermath while the toxic air continued to be present in lower Manhattan well into 2002 to receive the medical treatment and compensation they deserve.
We invite you to schedule a consultation with us to learn more about the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and determine whether you're eligible to receive benefits from it.
You may reach Cannata, Hendele & Cannata at 888-982-8428 to reserve your time to meet with an attorney. While in a time of uncertainty with Covid-19, our firm is fully functioning and can communicate with you by telephone and the internet if an in-person appointment is not possible.
James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act History
James Zadroga was a member of the New York Police Department (NYPD) who died of a respiratory illness on January 5, 2006, due to his involvement at Ground Zero. He was the first person whom health officials declared died due to toxic chemical exposure at the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Zadroga, who never smoked, was healthy until he developed a cough and shortness of breath a few weeks after his presence at Ground Zero. He was also the first person to receive a settlement from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) in 2004. Congress later passed an act named after him, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The VCF and World Trade Center Health Program fall under this act.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010
Recognizing the need to provide health care and compensation to victims of 9/11, the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act” was signed into law 0n January 2, 2011, under President Obama.
This version of the Act devoted approximately $2.775 billion to compensate victims for their injuries through the Victim Compensation Fund and an additional $1.5 billion to funding medical treatment and monitoring for World Trade Center-related injuries.
The president's reauthorization also made funds available for the VCF under Title II. The funds became available in October 2011 and expired in October 2016.
In December 2015, Congress authorized an additional approximately $4.5 billion in compensation over the next five years.
The amended legislation also provided health care for the next seventy-five years.
Previously submitted claims, as well as newly diagnosed conditions and recent deaths, were now eligible to receive compensation.
James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act of 2015
In December 2015, during President Obama's second term, he signed another bill that provided a continuation of the James Zadroga Act of 2010. The new authorization was set to expire in December 2020. The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act of 2015 included these five significant changes from earlier versions:
- Removed the $10,000 minimum award amount
- Placed a cap of $90,000 for non-economic loss for health conditions unrelated to cancer
- Placed a cap of $250,000 for non-economic loss for cancer
- Placed a cap on annual gross income of $200,000 for each year of loss
- Required VCF administrators to prioritize benefit claims from 9/11 victims who had the most serious health conditions
2019 Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act
In July 2019, under President Trump, “The Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund” — also known as the “VCF Permanent Authorization Act” or " Zadroga Reauthorization Act " was signed into law.
This third reauthorization made funds available until October 1, 2090. Participants generally have two years to register with the Fund from when their illness has been certified by the World trade Center health Program or the date of death.
This legislation removed the cap on non-economic damages in certain circumstances, and extended the VCF claim filing deadline from December 18, 2020, to October 1, 2090.
This Act ensures every eligible first responder or survivor who has suffered, or will suffer, from a WTC-certified cancer or health condition receives compensation.
Why did Congress develop the Zadroga Act?
The Zadroga Act’s original enactment came after members of Congress heard about and witnessed thousands of people becoming ill and some dying due to toxic chemical exposure at the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and airline crash sites.
The diseases they developed, such as cancer, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, were severe enough to affect their ability to live comfortably day to day and earn a living. Members of Congress also heard first-hand testimony from first responders, police officers, firefighters, and debris removal crews that highlighted the need for compensation for pain and suffering and loss of earning potential, medical monitoring, and healthcare services.
Zadroga VCF claims & payouts
Any survivor or civilian is potentially eligible for compensation if they can prove they were present at the New York City Exposure Zone between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002.
The Exposure Zone near the World Trade Center covers the area of Manhattan running south of the Canal Street line to from the Hudson River to East Broadway and Canal Street intersection. It continues to include the northern direction on East Broadway moving toward Clinton Street and from there to the East River.
Claimants must have lived, worked, attended school, or attended daycare in the eligible areas for some period of time during the next eight months after 9/11. You or a loved one may also have been present at the Pentagon plane crash site or the second crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
There are a limited number of exceptions and speaking with an experienced attorney at Cannata, Hendele & Cannata can help determine if there is sufficient proof.
To make a VCF claim, 9/11 victims or their family members must first meet location and date requirements. There also needs to be a positive connection between your presence at an eligible site and a 9/11-related illness. Although this process is complex and overwhelming, you don't need to start it yourself.
The attorneys at Cannata, Hendele & Cannata are highly experienced and regarded in gathering and submitting the correct documentation needed for compensation from the VCF.
We have worked with clients who sustained an injury or developed an illness related to their presence at an eligible site since the earliest days of the terrorist attacks and or in the months that followed. Experience means everything when it comes to preparing your claim, and you can depend on your attorney to prepare and submit your claim in a timely and efficient manner.
The Zadroga Act - Medical care & compensation
People filing for compensation and medical treatment under the Zadroga Act and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act who were present at a crash site or the New York City Disaster Zone between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002, may be eligible for benefits.
Under certain circumstances, you may be eligible for treatment under extended time periods of exposure but not eligible for compensation under more restricted guidelines. They must also have an official diagnosis of an eligible health condition for program consideration.
Numerous health conditions are eligible for potential compensation, medical monitoring, and medical treatment. The primary categories of eligible conditions include:
- Acute Traumatic Injuries
- Aerodigestive Disorders
- Musculoskeletal Disorders
The WTC Health Program provides coverage for psychological conditions related to the terrorist attacks. However, mental health disorders do not meet eligibility requirements for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. That generally means anyone with a 9/11-related mental health condition is only eligible for medical care and not financial compensation.
What are the benefits under the WTCHP and VCF?
These two programs operate separately, and each provides unique benefits to eligible participants. Enrollment in the WTC Health Program, a requirement for the VCF, pays for testing and medical treatment related to cancer and other eligible health conditions.
The WTC Health Program also provides pharmacy benefits at no cost. More than 65,000 pharmacies across the United States participate in the program, with many of them offering a mail-order option. The program also provides health certification for VCF benefits.
The VCF can provide significant money compensation to people with an eligible health condition who were present in lower Manhattan on or after 9/11 or at another site impacted by the attacks. Personal representatives of individuals who died due to a 9/11-related illness can also apply to the VCF.
If approved, this estate of the deceased will receive payments from the VCF. on behalf of the deceased individual.
Get a free consultation, speak with a Zadroga Act lawyer today
Cannata, Hendele & Cannata has a strong dedication to victims with post-9/11 illnesses. Our commitment has been true since the earliest days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Our Zadroga Act lawyers have been leaders in the 9/11 community for decades, and have a track record of helping many successfully secure the benefits they deserve.
Call 888-982-8428 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.