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Advocates Say Trump’s Budget Threatens 9/11 Healthcare Program

In April, an editorial in USA Today joined a chorus of concerns that President Trump’s proposed budget could negatively impact healthcare for survivors of the 9/11 terror attacks. The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) provides critical health screenings and treatment to more than 83,000 people, including about 16,000 FDNY members. President Trump’s proposal would remove the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and place it under the control of the National Institutes for Health. The WTC Health Program would remain with the CDC but without the able assistance from NIOSH, which it has enjoyed since its inception under the Zadroga Act. This apparently pointless bureaucratic reshuffling has stunned many 9/11 advocates.

When they first heard of the proposed change, several U.S. senators, including Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer of New York, Cory Booker and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut sent a letter to Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, seeking to prevent the change.  Meanwhile, Rep. Peter King of New York’s 2nd Congressional District launched criticism from the other side of the aisle, objecting to a move that “serves no purpose,” and telling Newsday, “This program is working as perfectly as a program can be.” And Rep. Nita Lowey, who represents New Yorkers in the Hudson River Valley, is also concerned about a negative impact on the WTCHP. Her spokesman, Mike Burns, noted that she was among a bipartisan group of House members who wrote to Mulvaney to urge him to withdraw his proposal to separate the WTCHP from NIOSH, and she also raised the issue last month with Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at an HHS budget hearing.

As attorneys who have been fighting for 9/11 compensation since the beginning, Barasch & McGarry believe the federal government has a solemn obligation to provide quality healthcare to survivors of the attacks. We see no reason to restructure a program that seems to be operating efficiently for the survivors who rely on it, especially when the president hasn’t articulated any rationale for the proposal. Was this budget proposal ever a seriously considered reform, or simply a gambit in the larger budget process? Time will tell.

For a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you obtain the 9/11 benefits you deserve, please contact us online or call Barasch & McGarry at 888-351-9421.

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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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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.

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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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