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Am I a “Responder” or a “Survivor”?

Not everybody is familiar with the terminology that the WTC Health Program and Victim Compensation Fund use to classify the populations they serve. Here’s a quick primer:

General Responders: This category is for people who worked or, in some cases, volunteered down at the WTC site on September 11th or during any part of the 8 month-long clean-up. This includes anybody who was there in a professional capacity, not just members of the uniformed services. Beyond police, firefighters, and military, the “responder” category includes any other people who worked or volunteered onsite in rescue, recovery, debris cleanup, or related support services, workers at debris removal barges or at the Staten Island Landfill who handled and sorted WTC debris, employees at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of NYC or morgue workers who sorted or identified dust-covered remains, and news crews who reported from the scene.

*FDNY Responders and Shanksville Responders receive the same services as the WTC General Responder population but have their own health programs within the WTC Health Program.

NYC Survivors: The WTC Health Program is available for people who attended school, lived, or worked below Houston Street or in western Brooklyn between September 11th, 2001 and July 31st, 2002. Survivors receive slightly different benefits from responders in the WTC Health Program, but care for both groups is available nationwide.

The VCF is for both responders and survivors who were exposed to the 9/11 toxins south of Canal Street. They are entitled to the same benefits, but the proof of presence requirements are slightly different.

If you were in lower Manhattan on or after September 11th, knowing which category you qualify for is important for the World Trade Center Health Program application.

For more detailed definitions check the WTC Health Program’s page on the topic: https://www.cdc.gov/wtc/eligiblegroups.html

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  • "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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