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September 11 and Lower Manhattan Resident Health

Lingering damages of 9/11

Everyone who lives or works in the neighborhood surrounding the World Trade Center remembers Christine Todd Whitman, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), telling New Yorkers that the air in Lower Manhattan was safe to breathe and the water safe to drink just days after the attacks. Even without her assurances, many of us who live and work in Lower Manhattan would have remained or returned as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, many of the toxins released in the dust, smoke and fumes surrounding the WTC site persisted in the environment for much longer than the first few days or weeks after the disaster, causing long-term illness and injury for many people — even those who were absent on September 11.

WTC-related illnesses and cancers

Some of the health effects related to the crashes became obvious the moment they occurred: blunt trauma injuries resulting from falling debris, burns and hospitalizations due to smoke inhalation. The September 11-related illnesses and injuries of these victims demanded immediate attention. For many others, especially for Lower Manhattan residents who lived near but not next to the WTC site, or who lived along the route used to transport WTC debris to garbage barges, long-term health effects have only recently come to light. These can include:

  • Cancer: The list of illnesses covered by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, includes 68 WTC-related cancers such as lung, breast, colon, trachea, esophageal, kidney, bladder, skin, thyroid, blood and ovarian cancers, as well as childhood cancers.
  • Respiratory ailments: These include new asthma diagnoses, sarcoidosis, emphysema, decreased pulmonary function, exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic rhinosinusitis or nasopharyngitis, and chronic coughing disorders, among others.
  • Other illnesses: Common among many people exposed to WTC dust, fumes or smoke, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) frequently occurs, along with respiratory problems.
  • Mental and emotional health: First responders, rescue workers, cleanup workers, residents and local employees face an increased risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, depression disorders, and substance or alcohol abuse.

Zadroga Act’s benefits and Lower Manhattan residents

The James Zadroga Act of 2010 reopened the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and extended funding for the World Trade Center Health Program. Additionally, it entitles injured residents from a larger area surrounding the WTC site to a Victims Compensation Fund settlement. If you live outside the designated area — delineated in section 104.2 of the Code of Federal Regulations — but suffered a WTC-related illness or injury, the new law also empowers the Special Master administering the program to include you among eligible residents.

Applying for Zadroga Act benefits as a Manhattan resident

We encourage you to learn more about the Zadroga Act and the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund. If you believe you might qualify for a settlement under the Zadroga Act, please contact us to begin a conversation about the application process. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson will help you through every step of the process, ensuring that you and your family get the greatest benefit from the reopened Victim Compensation Fund.

Deadline Extended to Register for Compensation

There is still time to apply for significant compensation if you have been diagnosed with any of the 68 cancers that doctors at the WTC Health Program (WTCHP) have linked to the WTC toxic dust. The deadline to apply to the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is 2 years from the date that a cancer has been certified by the WTC Health Program —or any other governmental agency. The 2 year period to register doesn’t start on the day of a cancer diagnosis. Rather, it starts only when a cancer survivor is made aware their cancer was linked to exposure to the WTC toxins.

For those who died from their WTC-linked cancers, the 2 year period to register starts on the day of their death.

Please help spread the word about the strict 2 year deadline to register a claim.

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 — helping set things right

No other law firm in the country has collected more money from the Victim Compensation Fund for its injured clients than Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson While we know that no amount of money can make up for your pain and suffering, we strongly believe that everyone who suffers to this day from the catastrophe of September 11 should receive as much financial support as possible. Please contact us online or by phone at 888.351.9421 to determine your eligibility for WTC compensation or to start the process of applying for James Zadroga Act benefits.

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