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Family Benefits Now Available When 9/11 Responders Die of COVID-19

Thanks to a directive issued just before the anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, if a first responder has a 9/11-related illness and dies of COVID-19, his or her family will be able to obtain benefits from the federal Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).

This new VCF directive is welcome news for first responders, their families and their advocates, who had been pressing for clarity on this topic since the pandemic set in. Per the VCF Special Master’s announcement, if a 9/11 survivor’s death certificate cites COVID-19 as a cause of death along with any one of the recognized 9/11-related conditions, the family is eligible for compensation.

The compensation is not automatic. The 9/11 survivor must be registered with both the WTC Health Program and the VCF. At the same time, the VCF registration deadline has been tightened. Under the old deadline, you had to file a claim within two years of having the illness certified by the WTC Health Program or within two years of the survivor’s death. Now, the new deadline is July 29, 2021.

Sara Director of Barasch & McGarry, one of our attorneys who has been advocating for these changes, stressed their special relevance to first responders and their families. “They have a compromised immune system to begin with, and are at greater risk to contract and succumb to [COVID-19],” Director said in a recent news article. “We want to ensure that no single survivor or first responder who is eligible to receive compensation is left out because they didn’t know about the deadline.”

Director estimates that about 100 of our clients have died from coronavirus so far during the pandemic. This virus, which preys on people with underlying conditions like cancer and respiratory problems — the exact problems that plague the 9/11 community — is perhaps the biggest collective threat the community has faced since the Sept. 11 attack itself.

If you are a 9/11 survivor or first responder, or you are a family member of a survivor or first responder who passed away due to COVID-19, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Barasch & McGarry in New York. Our lawyers would be happy to answer your questions and to assist you in getting registered. If you need to file a claim, we can walk you through it. You can call us at 888-351-9421 or contact us online. Initial consultations are free.

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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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