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WTC Health ProgramVictim Compensation FundZadroga Act

Eligibility for 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and World Trade Center Health Program Depends on Where You Were

March 24, 2022 | Michael Barasch

All of the 500,000 first responders and people who were working, living, and studying below Canal Street in Manhattan on and after 9/11 were exposed to Ground Zero toxins. These toxins dramatically increase the 9/11 community’s risk of developing 68 different types of cancers and a host of respiratory illnesses.

These first responders and survivors are eligible for the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), programs which provide compensation and free health care if you develop an illness. It is presumed your cancer or respiratory illness is linked to the toxins, no matter your family history. 

The toxins included asbestos, benzene, pulverized glass and concrete, and other harmful chemicals.

In addition to Lower Manhattan, the VCF and the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program also recognize the New York City Mortuary and the Fresh Kills Landfill as sites where people were exposed to toxins from the bodies of victims or debris removed from Ground Zero.

But, unfortunately, the VCF and the WTC Health Program have not yet recognized exposure to Ground Zero toxins that occurred elsewhere.

For example, we often receive calls from the families of first responders who might have been in contact with Ground Zero toxins on uniforms that were worn home after a shift at the World Trade Center site.

Even when family members or others were directly exposed to the toxic dust, such as while laundering a uniform, that exposure does not qualify for either the VCF or the WTC Health Program.

If you are uncertain about whether you are eligible to access the compensation fund and the health program, we urge you to contact us immediately.  

We are honored to represent more than 35,000 9/11 first responders and survivors. We help them prove eligibility and protect their right to free health care and compensation.

Call 212-385-8000 or visit today.

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