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WTC Health ProgramVictim Compensation FundZadroga Act

Barasch & McGarry Honors the 13th Anniversary of the Senate Passing the Zadroga Act

December 22, 2023 | Michael Barasch

December 22 marks the thirteenth anniversary of the Senate passing the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010,” named in honor of hero NYPD Detective James Zadroga, a Barasch & McGarry client.

The act established the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and reactivated the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), providing free health care and compensation to responders and survivors who were diagnosed with cancer or respiratory illness as a result of their exposure to toxins at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and the Flight 93 crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Initially, government officials denied that exposure to toxins at these locations could result in serious illness.

But medical evidence ultimately demonstrated that the toxins increased the risk of 69 types of cancer and many respiratory illnesses.

Members of the 9/11 community – including the Barasch & McGarry team – lobbied representatives in Congress, with influential support from comedian and advocate Jon Stewart.

Ultimately, the Zadroga Act passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate with bipartisan supermajorities. The law was reauthorized and extended in 2015 and 2019.

In nearly thirteen years, the 9/11 VCF has awarded $12.6 billion to 9/11 first responders, survivors, and their families.

Barasch & McGarry has recovered more than $3 billion in awards for nearly 40,000 9/11 victims, more than any other law firm in the country.

If you are diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness, your family medical history does not affect your eligibility for free health care or compensation. 

If you were there in Lower Manhattan, the government presumes your illness was the result of exposure to Ground Zero toxins.

Through the health program, 9/11 responders and survivors have access to free, comprehensive medical care for their 9/11-related illnesses. 

The victim fund offers tax-free awards for pain and suffering, lost earnings, and benefits for surviving spouses and family members.

For the WTC Health Program, the exposure zone includes all of Manhattan below Houston Street and parts of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO in Brooklyn.

For the 9/11 VCF, the exposure zone includes the area of Manhattan south of Canal Street and west of Clinton Street.

If you were there, you have the right to register with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. And, if you are diagnosed with any Ground Zero-related illness, you have the right to enroll in the free World Trade Center Health Program.

Early detection could save your life. Protect yourself and your family.

Barasch & McGarry can help you register with the 9/11 VCF. Please contact us by visiting or calling 212-385-8000.

If you prefer to register or enroll directly with the 9/11 VCF or the WTC Health Program, visit or

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