*** UPDATE: Since the date of this blog post, the deadline for filing a claim with the Victim Compensation Fund has been extended until December 18, 2020. ***
You may have several options to obtain treatment for your 9/11-related injuries or compensation for the death of your loved one under three primary benefits programs:
- Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)
- World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program
- New York State Workers’ Compensation
These separate programs have their own requirements, procedures and deadlines. You may be enrolled in all programs if you are eligible.
The World Trade Center Health Program treats and monitors responders to the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the Shanksville, PA crash site during search, rescue, recovery and cleanup. The program also assists survivors who were present in the NYC disaster area during the relevant time. In addition to providing comprehensive medical care for 9/11-related injuries and illnesses, the WTC Health Program also conducts research on the health effects associated with the tragic events. This research is used to determine which medical conditions should be added to the list of presumptively covered conditions for compensation through the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) and the WTC Health Program.
Your enrollment in the WTC Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program (MMTP) or the WTC Environmental Health Center Community Program automatically transferred to the WTC Health Program. If you were not enrolled in one of these programs, you may still apply to the WTC Health Program.
New York State Workers’ Compensation is open to employees and volunteers who participated in rescue, recovery or cleanup operations in lower Manhattan. The deadline for registering is September 11, 2014. You should register even if you have not been diagnosed with an illness. Registration protects your right in the future should you ever develop a 9/11-related medical condition. For example, symptoms of mesothelioma may not manifest for many years but the disease has already been linked to asbestos released in the toxic dust cloud that billowed from the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings.
The U.S. Department of Justice administers the Victim Compensation Fund, which helps individuals who were injured or lost loved ones as a result of the 9/11 attacks. You must register within two years from the date you are diagnosed with a 9/11-related injury or illness. You have until October 3, 2016 to file your Eligibility and Compensation Forms and supporting evidence.
Barasch & McGarry can assess whether you are eligible for these programs and guide you through the application processes.