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WTC Health Program

Barasch & McGarry Expands its World Trade Center Health Program Enrollment Department

December 8, 2021 | Michael Barasch

As part of Barasch & McGarry’s work to support the 9/11 community, the firm’s World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) department has recently been expanded. The firm is equipped to assist clients with the often-complicated enrollment process. The Program is set up to provide medical monitoring and treatment of certified WTC-related health conditions for 9/11 responders and survivors who were exposed in Lower Manhattan and parts of western Brooklyn, the Staten Island Fresh Kills Landfill, the Pentagon, and at the crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The Enrollment Team at Barasch & McGarry helps over 100 people each month enroll in the WTCHP to receive covered treatment for respiratory conditions such as asthma, GERD, sleep apnea, and COPD, as well as 68 cancers linked to the WTC toxins, such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, thyroid cancer, skin cancer, and mesothelioma. The health program also provides help with PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

Once enrolled, the WTCHP will cover initial health evaluations, annual monitoring exams, necessary medical and mental health treatment for certified illnesses, and more.

“Certification” is an official decision that a condition is related to 9/11 exposure. Upon certification of one or more physical conditions by the WTCHP, the individual is entitled to free health care and medical monitoring and may be eligible for monetary compensation from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).

While Survivors and Responders are always welcome and encouraged to enroll themselves, the WTCHP can often be a confusing and difficult place to navigate alone. Responders and survivors must collect and provide multiple documents such as eyewitness affidavits, school transcripts, lease agreements, memo books or employer verification letters to prove that they were within the exposure zone for a duration of time between September 11, 2001 through July 31, 2002 (for the Health Program). “Responders” are not required to have any current conditions to be accepted into the Program, but “survivors,” (i.e. non-responder civilians) are not eligible to enroll without current symptoms of a 9/11-related illness. In cases such as those, we can advise and assist with gathering documents which would allow them to enroll should a certifiable condition arise in the future, as they unfortunately often do.

Applicants to the WTCHP must submit their Proof of Presence documents via one of four applications provided by the CDC. No two circumstances are the same, and knowing the correct application to use, and the specific category the exposure falls into, can greatly increase the chance of being accepted without unnecessary delay. There are four options on the CDC website: FDNY, General Responder, NYC Survivor, and Pentagon / Shanksville Responder.

The Enrollment Department of Barasch & McGarry is happy to help simplify this complicated process and assist with any bumps along the way. If you are interested in enrolling in the World Trade Center Health Program, the Barasch & McGarry team is here to answer your questions.

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