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Documents You Can Use to Show You Were in the Ground Zero Area

Many people suffering with medical problems related to the World Trade Center attack or cleanup are not able to recognize symptoms or to connect them with Ground Zero exposure until years later. This can present significant problems as they pursue payments from the Victim Compensation Fund. With the recent permanent authorization of the VCF, individuals who were in the danger zone have extra motivation to prove their eligibility for reimbursement or medical treatment associated with a 9/11-related condition.

Various documents can support a Ground Zero exposure claim and an attorney familiar with VCF rules can outline what you need to present the strongest case. First, it’s important to understand the location and time requirements. The World Trade Center exposure zone runs from the southern tip of Manhattan up to Canal Street and East Broadway, stretching from the Hudson River to the East River. To pursue benefits, you must have been within the area between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002. The VCF has published a checklist outlining the following documents that can be used to establish eligibility:

  • Employment records — If your claim is based on your having worked in Lower Manhattan in 2001 and/or 2002, personnel records, a letter from your employer or a pay stub will support your filing.
  • Proof of residence — Canceled rent checks, mortgage documents, utility bills are proof that you lived within the affected neighborhood.
  • Contemporaneous documents — Medical records, school attendance reports or other materials that were created at the time you were near the Ground Zero site are acceptable evidence.
  • Sworn affidavits — You can submit sworn affidavits from witnesses who attest that you were present in the 9/11 exposure zone during the relevant time period.

At least two forms of proof are required to ensure evaluation of your claim. If you’re unsure about whether you have the proper materials, a lawyer with detailed knowledge of VCF regulations can help.

Barasch & McGarry is a leader among New York City law firms in recovering payment for victims of illnesses linked to exposure at the Ground Zero site. Please call us at 888-351-9421 or contact us online to make an appointment regarding your potential claim.

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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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