We recently commemorated the 13th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and with it has come renewed calls for action on the re-authorization of the James L. Zadroga Act, a federal law that provides health care benefits and compensation to firefighters, responders and other first responders that day. It also provides benefits to family members of these individuals who have died from their injuries or illnesses.
The renewal of the Zadroga Act should be common sense, but unfortunately gridlock in Congress makes is less than a sure thing. Many public officials have voiced their support for the measure, including likely presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. On September 16, Clinton said at a labor event that she supports the act’s reauthorization, as it is set to expire in 2016 unless Congress takes action.
The Zadroga Act, originally passed four years ago, helps cover medical bills and other expenses related to illnesses directly related to 9/11. It covers about 60,000 first responders who were exposed on that day, in addition to as many as 50,000 other responders and survivors. It covers people who lived, worked or attended school within a mile and a half from Ground Zero, although others may qualify through a review process.
There are 62 different types of cancer covered by the bill, as exposure to dangerous materials like asbestos was common for the people who dug through the rubble to search for survivors or bodies in the days after the catastrophic event.
For individuals and families closely involved in the September 11 attacks, there may be options for receiving compensation or health care benefits through the Zadroga Act. Contact a knowledgeable New York City attorney with Barasch & McGarry to learn more about your legal options.