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Coronavirus Continues to Put Unique Burdens on 9/11 Survivors and First Responders

It has been almost a year since the coronavirus first swept through the U.S., and although a vaccine appears to be on the horizon, the fact remains that the health crisis has taken a heavy toll on the 9/11 community. Hundreds of first responders and survivors have died of COVID-19. Hundreds more have contracted more-severe-than-usual cases of the virus and pulled through. Still more are struggling mentally with the effects of quarantine.

Earlier this year, on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the community was robbed of the ability to connect in person with other survivors and families as the memorial events were cancelled or moved into a virtual environment. While these actions were necessary to protect everyone’s physical health, they may have exacerbated the anxiety and depression already afflicting many in the community. “Because of the pandemic, because events are being canceled, many of them just feel like the walls are closing in on them and they need to worry about their mental health,” 9/11 first responder John Feal told CBS News in an early September interview.

Most members of the 9/11 community worry constantly about getting cancer because of the toxins they were exposed to that day. The pandemic has only added to that already crippling stress. Feal gave voice to this double worry when he told CBS, “We’re all looking over our shoulder going, ‘When are we getting cancer?’ Now, we’re looking over our should going, ‘My Lord, when am I going to get cancer or when am I going to get COVID or when am I going to get both?’”

As the pandemic drags on into winter, we remain hopeful that effective vaccines will become available as quickly as possible so 9/11 survivors and responders, along with the rest of the world, can finally emerge from this pandemic.

Barasch & McGarry is a New York law firm the represents 9/11 responders and survivors around the U.S. We help our clients utilize available health programs and get compensation for 9/11-related illnesses. If you are a firefighter, medic or anyone else wanting to know about all the 9/11-related health programs available to you, please call 888-351-9421 or contact us online for a free consultation with our team.

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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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