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COVID Resurgence Has 9/11 Responders Concerned

As coronavirus cases skyrocket once again, 9/11 responders and Barasch & McGarry clients like Jason Srebrenick feel apprehension that their underlying health issues make them more susceptible to the virus. As a carpenter who helped clean out and repair multiple businesses near Ground Zero in the aftermath of the attacks, Jason was exposed to the toxins in the air and the rubble.

Like many responders and survivors, Jason has transitioned into a different career in the years since the attacks. Today, he works as a pest technician, a job classified as essential in the early days of the pandemic. He needs to enter homes and businesses as part of his work and as a result is around people more than he would like.

“I work on the front line. I have to make sure I’m not bringing anything home to my family because right now I’m the only provider for my family,” Jason said in an interview with WNEP News in Summit Hill, Pennsylvania, where he and his family now live.

Jason and his family have been diligently following quarantine recommendations and taking precautions from the beginning. While they have managed to stay physically healthy so far, there has been a physical and psychological toll. Wearing a mask, Jason says, makes it hard to breathe because of his 9/11-related respiratory problems. But he does it, for his safety and everyone else’s, despite the fact that sometimes it triggers awful memories of 9/11. “Everything was covered in soot. Smelled like dead bodies. Burning bodies,” he said.

Jason is among many 9/11 responders and survivors alarmed by the recent resurgence of COVID-19 around the nation. Our law firm, which represents more than 20,000 responders and survivors, has heard from many others who are equally concerned. Many of our clients have asthma, COPD, cancer and other post-9/11 illnesses that make them more easily infected by COVID-19 and more likely to die from the virus.

Although vaccines are at last being deployed, the 9/11 community urges the public to continue with safety precautions. Please wear masks, maintain social distance and avoid gathering in large groups. We all want to put this behind us, but please remember the 9/11 heroes. They remain vulnerable, and by following precautions you could help them avoid becoming deathly ill.

If you are a 9/11 responder or survivor who is battling COVID-19, or you are a family member of one who has died of the virus, you have until July 29, 2021 to register for the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).

Barasch & McGarry is a New York law firm representing 9/11 responders and survivors around the U.S. We can help you register for the VCF and the WTC Health Program and assist you in obtaining other benefits that may be available to you. Call us at 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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