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COVID-19 Essential Workers Need Our Support

With a new outbreak of COVID-19 returning to the New York City region, our first responders, front line health care providers, and other essential workers are once again confronted with a crisis that threatens their lives and families.

We must never forget their personal sacrifices to carry us through the pandemic, often at the risk of their own health and safety.

Honoring those contributions means a lot more than clapping at 7:00 PM every day.

It means securing key resources – health care and compensation – for essential workers who have contracted COVID-19 and have died or are still suffering from complications, and their families.

Thousands of essential workers have already passed away from COVID-19 complications. And the long-term health risks are still unknown.

We have an opportunity to learn from the example of an earlier health crisis that continues to impact thousands of people: the 68 types of cancer and dozens of respiratory diseases afflicting people exposed to Ground Zero toxins after 9/11.

Initially, some officials at all levels of government refused to acknowledge this serious threat to 9/11 first responders and survivors. 

I know from personal experience representing NYPD Detective James Zadroga, who died about five years after 9/11 from severe respiratory disease.

We fought tirelessly for compensation for Detective Zadroga and his family, overcoming opposition from officials who failed to recognize the increasing obvious health risks of exposure to Ground Zero toxins.

Only after nearly a decade of advocacy was the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act signed into law in early 2011 – and later expanded in 2015 and 2019 – permanently guaranteeing health care and compensation for the entire 9/11 community.

Today, we have a responsibility to provide support to a new generation of heroes – the firefighters, police officers, emergency medical responders, and health care providers – among many essential workers whose efforts allowed our communities to survive the pandemic.

Only a federal health care program and compensation fund covering essential workers throughout the United States, rather than a patchwork of state and local programs, will offer comprehensive relief for essential workers and their families.

We cannot afford to wait a decade or more to provide help.

Workers who are still struggling to breathe and spouses and children who have lost a partner and a parent simply cannot afford year after year of delay in accessing assistance.

The development of effective COVID-19 vaccines indicates that the pandemic could end within the next several months.

Until then, we should continue to follow the safety precautions recommended by public health officials, including wearing a mask, washing hands frequently with soap, and avoiding indoor gatherings with people from outside our households.

Faithfully observing these guidelines will save many lives, particularly among essential workers whose jobs expose them to higher risks.

We will never forget the millions of people who answered the call and returned to work day after day to protect their fellow Americans.

As we draw closer to the conclusion of the pandemic, we have a duty to protect them.

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Compensation available to residents and office workers, teachers and students – not just responders and volunteers
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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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