Dedicated New York Attorneys for Victims with Post 9/11 Illnesses
Putting the Zadroga Act to work to set things right for WTC attack victims and their families
More than a decade after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 shocked the world, many rescue and recovery personnel and Lower Manhattan workers and residents who were exposed to toxins from the World Trade Center site are still living a nightmare. Every day, Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson observes how cancer, respiratory disorders and other disabling and deadly diseases linked to the exposure continue to devastate families.
With our downtown office located near City Hall, just a few short blocks from the site, our lawyers and staff acutely felt the impact of the tragedy. We continue to do so with every post-9/11 victim we help.
Who we help
Prior to the attacks, our law firm routinely represented New York City firefighters injured in the line of duty and advocated for their rights. After 9/11, our practice naturally expanded to help all those affected by the attacks in the days and months afterward:
World Trade Center first responders, including:
- Firefighters, police officers and EMTs
- Construction workers
- Out-of-state responders
- Lower Manhattan workers and residents
We have been extensively involved in advocating for WTC victims’ rights and regularly consult with the Special Master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) and the Department of Justice, which administers the VCF.
Zadroga Act Benefits After the Extension and Reauthorization
We are proud to have represented James Zadroga, an NYPD detective who developed pulmonary fibrosis, a severe respiratory illness, as a result of his exposure to dust and toxins at the World Trade Center site. His death eventually persuaded Congress to pass the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act” in late 2010. The law reopened the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, which provides benefits to people whose injuries and illnesses resulted from exposure to WTC dust and debris. The Act also provides ongoing health treatment for those sickened by the toxins. The law has been recently reauthorized and extended to include compensation for 68 cancers linked to the toxic dust and health care for an additional 70 years.
Our law firm fought hard to convince Congress to extend and reauthorize the Zadroga Act. Thankfully, in December, 2015, Congress passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending package that included an extension of the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, allowing the 9/11 community to receive the health benefits and compensation that they deserve. President Obama signed the bill into law the day after Congress, with bipartisan support, voted in favor of its passage. The $8.1 billion extension came as the result of intense lobbying from survivors, victims’ advocates and New York lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The new law extends the World Trade Center Health Program for 75 years, until 2090, at a cost of $3.5 billion, and renews the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) for five years at $4.6 billion. The extension is welcome news to thousands of anxious first responders and lower Manhattan local residents, as 9/11-related illnesses and cancers with long latency periods continue to manifest.
To date, more than 70,000 survivors have registered with the WTC Health Program, and the VCF has approved more than 9,000 applicants for compensation. More than $1.7 million has been awarded to date.
While the Department of Justice still must write regulations for the VCF extension, the bill should shorten the time that it will take for victims to actually receive their compensation. According to the firm’s managing partner, Michael Barasch, “The good news is that instead of being paid just 40 percent of awards and having to wait until October, 2017, VCF claimants with awards dated prior to December 17, 2015 will receive 100 percent of their awards by July, 2016 and other VCF claimants will receive their entire award payments within months of getting their award letters. Moreover, for the next five years, anyone diagnosed with one of the 67 cancers linked to the WTC toxic dust, even those who have already received awards, will be able to make a new claim for compensation— as long as the claim is made within two years of the date of diagnosis.”
We invite you to learn more about the history of the James Zadroga Act, H.R. 847.
Driven by compassion and duty
No other law firm in the country has recovered more money from the Victim Compensation Fund through WTC settlement agreements on behalf of its injured clients than Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson
But we view our mission as more than just getting you and your family the compensation you need. Each attorney at our firm is committed to helping you receive the health screenings and benefits you require. When you contact us to learn more about the illnesses covered by the Zadroga Act and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, we also help you determine the medical benefits for which you qualify and where to seek treatment.
Deadlines and help with the application
While the deadline to apply to the VCF for most known respiratory illnesses has passed, there is still time to apply if you have been diagnosed with any of the 68 WTC-related cancers within the past two years. Anyone who has been diagnosed with a “rare cancer” between Sept 11, 2005 and February 18, 2014 has until February 18, 2016 to register with the VCF. Thereafter, all cancers will be treated the same and have the same deadline to register — 2 years from the date of diagnosis. This will be the deadline as long as the VCF remains open.
Many people have tried to complete the VCF application on their own, only to learn that it requires answers to hundreds of questions and many documents to download. It would be our pleasure to help you complete the process in order to ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to. Please call us for a free consultation.
Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson helps set things right
At Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson, we provide hope. Please contact us online or call 888.351.9421 to discuss your case with a lawyer who understands your situation and the law.
Trust us to help. You have nothing to risk and so much to gain. We offer free initial consultations and do not charge you anything until you receive a settlement from the Victim Compensation Fund. Our fees never exceed 10 percent of your settlement.
We assist injured clients from all over the country, including retired FDNY members and NYPD officers who have since moved away from New York. If you do not live near New York City or are unable to travel, we arrange your first, free consultation by telephone.