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Compensation for Injured WTC Rescue Workers

Getting help through the Zadroga Act

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act did two important things for WTC rescue, recovery and cleanup workers who suffered a WTC-related injury more than three days after September 11, 2001, or who did not develop symptoms and seek medical treatment until after that time.

Financial compensation for injured rescue workers

First, the Zadroga law reopened the WTC Victim Compensation Fund. The first Fund, which closed in June 2004, offered compensation to injured rescue workers and survivors, as well as to the families of people who were killed during the attacks. To qualify for rescue worker compensation under the first Fund, you must have suffered a physical injury and have sought medical treatment within 72 hours of the disasters.

The new James L. Zadroga Act provides compensation for the thousands of rescue and recovery workers whose illnesses and injuries took longer to manifest. Many rescue, recovery and cleanup workers who suffered life-changing injury or even died from exposure to toxins at the WTC sites did not begin work on the site until after the eligibility window for the first Victim Compensation Fund closed. Other workers are only now becoming aware of their cancers, which are covered by the Zadroga Act as of June 2012. The new 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund closes these gaps in coverage.

Your total compensation will be based on economic loss, including lost wages, out-of-pocket medical expenses, the cost of replacement services for tasks you used to be able to do yourself (e.g., mowing the lawn) and non-economic loss.

Non-economic loss, which is a tricky category created by tort law that attempts to provide financial compensation for truly incalculable losses, covers such things as mental or physical pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment, disfigurement, etc. The Fund will use both kinds of loss to calculate your total loss and then subtract any other “official” compensation you received — such as workers’ compensation or disability insurance. It will not include financial support from friends or family in determining your final award.

Medical help for injured WTC rescue workers

Many injured or ill rescue workers were already participating in the WTC Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program (MMTP) when the Zadroga Health and Compensation Act became law. The Act provided additional funding for physical and mental healthcare for injured rescue workers and survivors. It also consolidated the MMTP for rescue and recovery workers and the WTC Environmental Health Center Community Program for other survivors, residents and commuters into one program that covers everyone, the World Trade Center Health Program. This program provides for regular testing and ongoing medical monitoring and will cover the cost of treatment for included conditions.

Getting all the help and benefits you deserve

No other law firm in the country has recovered more money from the Victim Compensation Fund 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. We also want you to get all the health screenings and benefits for which you qualify. When you contact us to learn more about the Zadroga Act and the WTC Victim Compensation Fund, we also help you determine which medical benefits you qualify for and where to seek treatment. If the WTC Health Program has denied treatment for a condition you feel should be covered, we can help you appeal that decision.

Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson — helping set things right

Read through these pages to learn more about what the James L. Zadroga Act does for workers and residents made ill or injured by the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Please contact us online or call 888.351.9421 with any questions or to begin the application process. We offer free 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.

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