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Proving Your Presence at the WTC Attacks

Verifying you were there during the critical period

The first World Trade Center Victim Compensation Fund limited eligibility for WTC settlements to people who were present at 9/11 crash sites during or immediately following the crashes and who sought medical care for their injuries within 72 hours of the attack. It excluded people injured or made ill during recovery and cleanup operations, as well as people who suffered injury or illness simply through living or working near the sites. The new Zadroga Act, designed to address the long-term effects of exposure to the toxic environment surrounding the World Trade Center and other crash sites, extends both the time frame in which applicants must have sought medical care for their injuries and the geographic area considered part of the “9/11 crash sites.”

Providing documentation

As part of demonstrating that you are eligible for Zadroga Act benefits, you must show that you worked in recovery and cleanup operations; or lived or worked near one of the crash sites, along the route by which WTC debris was transported to the landfill, or near the Fresh Kills landfill at any time between the attacks and May 30, 2002.

Typical documents that may help you prove presence at one of the covered sites include:

  • Employer records showing employment with an organization that helped with rescue and recovery, cleanup, or debris removal and transportation, and records confirming that you were in fact present at the site — pay stubs, WTC site credentials or ID, an official personnel roster or schedule, any records showing that you volunteered at the site, etc.
  • Documents tending to show residence in the area, such as rent or mortgage receipts, utility bills, lease agreements, insurance policies, tax returns, etc. In addition to these records, you must also provide at least two documents showing that you were actually present at the site, such as affidavits from neighbors, landlords or other community residents.
  • Other contemporaneous documentation of your presence at the site, such as medical records, work orders, confirmation of tasks performed — these documents can include records like a paid invoice for cleaning and restoring an apartment in the affected area, a building pass, receipts for purchases made in the area or even documents such as parking tickets.
  • School or day care records confirming enrollment or attendance during the eligibility period.
  • Sworn and notarized affidavits from people who can attest to your presence at a 9/11 crash site.

Let experienced Zadroga Act lawyers do the work for you

At Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson, our dedicated personal injury attorneys have successfully represented hundreds of September 11 Victim Compensation Fund claimants. We know what documents the Victim Compensation Fund will accept as proof of presence, what documents require additional affidavit support and whether any documents may hurt your claims. Let us help you through the process, ensuring that you get it right the first time and are not subjected to unnecessary delays.

Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson — helping set things right

Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson has collected more money from the Victim Compensation Fund for its injured clients than any other law firm. While we know that no amount of money could make up for your pain and losses, we strongly believe that everyone injured or made ill by 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 eligibility for WTC compensation or to start the process of applying for James Zadroga Act benefits.

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