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Added Weight: Burden of Proof

Although it began payout to victims again in January of this year, the World Trade Center September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) will not likely ever be able to fully compensate each victim. While vested with over $2 billion for illness and injury caused in the attack, the number of claims made against that sum will stretch every dollar. Proof of exposure to contaminants after the attack is required — and sometimes proof is hard to come by.

RoseMarie Fitzgerald is the widow of New Jersey policeman Joseph Fitzgerald. According to Ms. Fitzgerald, on September 11, 2001, Mr. Fitzgerald went to Ground Zero along with others from police departments around the area to try and help. When he returned a day later, Ms. Fitzgerald reports her husband said he could not breathe. The episode worsened an existing pulmonary condition and Mr. Fitzgerald passed away in August 2010.

Like other claimants of the VCF, Ms. Fitzgerald must provide proof that her husband was at an Exposure Zone in the time immediately following the terrorist attacks. Although the Jersey City Police Department awarded Mr. Fitzgerald a certificate noting his service in the aftermath of the attack, the City is unable to provide any proof to Ms. Fitzgerald that her husband was physically present at a New York crash site. Without proof, Ms. Fitzgerald remains ineligible for benefits as a survivor of a WTC victim.

Types of documentation that may provide proof of presence at a 9/11 site include:

  • Employer records
  • Proof of residence and proof of presence during the attack
  • School or child care records
  • Sworn statements that attest to presence at a crash site

Over a decade later, a burden of proof may be hard to meet. Speak to our attorneys if you have questions.

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Compensation available to residents and office workers, teachers and students – not just responders and volunteers
Deadline Extended To Register Claims Must file within 2 years from the date your cancer was linked to WTC toxic dust
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Testimonials
  • "Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson handled everything professionally and with patience. They always had time to answer all my questions and did what they promised. Thanks esp to Brian Calamaris Lee London, and Mariya Atanasova. Thank you." - William Collins, FDNY

  • "If I could give them six stars I would...don't even bother talking to anyone else concerning 9/11. The whole team worked night and day to deliver an outstanding settlement. They are honest, hard working and extremely professional. Just make the one phone call and let them do the rest." - Les Margulis, resident in the exposure zone

  • "I had a very good experience with Michael and Mariya. They made the process stress free. I would recommend this firm to anyone seeking assistance with 9/11 related illnesses." - JE Kirwan, worked in the exposure zone

  • "The people at this firm were just great. They were concern with making sure I was taken care of in every way possible. When I was given an award Mr. Barasch didn't think it was a fair amount and appealed the decision which got me a larger award. I am very satisfied with everything they did for me in the past and are willing to do for me and my family in the future." - Bob Wiecezak, FDNY-Retired

  • "Excellent law firm. Lee London and his staff were very responsive and always followed up with phone calls or emails. This firm is a strong example of what caring and personable lawyers are all about." - Letitia Egan, wife of client, volunteer in the exposure zone

  • 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 two years from the date that a cancer has been certified by the WTC Health Program — or any other governmental agency. The two-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 two-year period for their family to register starts on the day of the death of the WTC victim.

    Register For Compensation

Please help spread the word about the strict two-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.

Let a knowledgeable attorney help you figure it out

A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying. You undoubtedly have questions about your disease and how you will pay for treatment. Lawyers at Barasch & McGarry ensure you understand the complex requirements and help devise the best strategies for obtaining compensation and appropriate medical care under the Zadroga Act. Contact our law firm online or call 888-351-9421. The initial consultation is free, so it costs you nothing to find out whether a lawyer can help.
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