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Advocates Pressure Congress to Extend Benefits for 9/11 First Responders

Advocates from the World Trade Center Health Program are urging lawmakers in Congress to pass an extension of a law that provides medical benefits for 9/11 first responders. The law, called the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, took effect in 2011 and provides medical monitoring and treatment for those who worked at Ground Zero on and after the terrorist attacks.

Members of the advocacy organization argue that that extending the benefits would lead to proper medical care and treatment of first responders, and allow health care administrators to efficiently plan for patients’ care. At this time, those who have been affected are continuously told that their health care benefits may run out. The organization told Congress that hearing this news is not only stressful for patients, but it also does not allow for proper courses of treatment to be planned by medical professionals. It was noted that patients and administrators alike are constantly preparing for the day when benefits end.

The Health portion of the Zadroga Act will expire in October 2015 if Congress takes no action. The group says that providing these benefits is a national issue, as in the United States, the first responders affected by 9/11-related illnesses live in 429 of the country’s 435 congressional districts.

The World Trade Center Health Program was created to oversee victims’ benefits and individuals’ ability to receive treatment. The organization has also activated the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, which provides financial relief to parties who have suffered a loss from the attacks. That fund is set to expire in October 3, 2016.

Rep. Yvette D. Clarke of New York noted that an extension of the law is likely to be passed. She stated that having permanent benefits in place are essential for families who have or will be affected by a wide range of illness and loss. Since 9/11, dozens of first responders have died and hundreds have contracted severe illnesses due to exposure to dangerous toxins at Ground Zero.

If you or a loved one are dealing with a 9/11-related injury or illness and would like more information on your rights and options, speak with an experienced New York personal injury lawyer at Barasch & McGarry

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  • 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.

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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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