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Do I Need a WTC Health Program Certification to File a VCF Claim?

Many programs have been established in response to medical problems stemming from the September 11, 2001 attack on New York City. Two of the most important ones are the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and the WTC Health Program. Both can be extremely valuable, but the programs serve different purposes. It’s important to understand that you can register for the VCF before you are evaluated by the WTC Health Program. Conversely, admission into the Health Program does not automatically mean that you will be eligible for VCF payments.

The WTC Health Program was established by the Center for Disease Control to give emergency responders, recovery and cleanup personnel as well as survivors needed treatment and to provide them with medical monitoring so that 9/11-related conditions can be identified and addressed as quickly as possible. Despite its name, the program also includes individuals affected by the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of United Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Its mission includes:

  • Treatment of covered illnesses — More than 60 types of cancer are covered within the program along with other types of aerodigestive disorders, musculoskeletal injuries and mental health conditions. Providers who treat these conditions at no cost to the patient are available in the New York City area and throughout the country.
  • Medical monitoring — If you were in the Lower Manhattan exposure zone but have not yet experienced symptoms associated with 9/11 illnesses, you can go to doctors within the system for a no-cost medical evaluation to determine if a potential problem exists.
  • Research and education — By treating and monitoring a wide group of current and possible victims, researchers can get a better handle on the specific ailments associated with exposure to toxic substances near the World Trade Center. However, your medical information does not have to be added to the database if you so choose.

Though you don’t always need to obtain a certification from the WTC Health Program in order to seek payment under the VCF, most 9/11 survivors benefit from both. An attorney who is familiar with these key aspects of the Zadroga Act will help you pursue the benefits you are entitled to under the law.

Barasch & McGarry offers comprehensive legal guidance to emergency responders, civil service workers and others who have suffered medical harm because of their proximity to contaminants in the Ground Zero area. To make an appointment with an accomplished 9/11 lawyer, please call 888-351-9421 or contact us online.

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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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