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WTC Health ProgramVictim Compensation FundZadroga Act

Honoring the Tenth Anniversary of the Zadroga Act

January 7, 2021 | Michael Barasch

We recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of President Obama signing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, named in honor of hero NYPD Detective James Zadroga, a Barasch & McGarry client.

The act established the World Trade Center Health Program and reactivated the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), providing medical care and financial security to tens of thousands of individuals and families impacted by the terrorist attacks, as well as the subsequent clean-up and debris removal efforts.

The path to the Zadroga Act was difficult, as government officials initially denied any link between exposure to airborne toxins at Ground Zero and the Pentagon to cancer or respiratory disease.

But as the medical evidence of a connection steadily built, 9/11 community members from every part of the United States lobbied their representatives in Congress, with influential support from comedian and 9/11 advocate Jon Stewart.

Stewart used his platform as host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” for a discussion with four 9/11 first responders about the desperate need for health care access   

Ultimately, the Zadroga Act passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate with bipartisan supermajorities, a pattern that was repeated when the law was reauthorized and extended in 2015 and 2019.

In the ten years since the Zadroga Act was signed, the VCF has awarded $7.76 billion to nearly 34,500 eligible claimants. Barasch & McGarry is proud to have recovered over $2 billion in awards from the Victim Compensation Fund, more than any other law firm in the country.

We owe a special debt of gratitude to 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya, who has worked tirelessly to support the 9/11 community and whose warnings about a shortfall in the fund caught the attention of Congress and President Trump, encouraging them to fully fund the program, permanently, in 2019.

Please contact us if you have any questions about the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Visit or call 212-385-8000 today.

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