Congress created the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) soon after the attacks of September 11th, 2001 to provide recompense and financial assistance to those injured in the attacks and the building collapse as well as to the families of those who lost their lives. The first version of the VCF only compensated those present at the site of the crashes at the time of the crashes or in the immediate aftermath. The immediate aftermath meant the 96 hours following the crashes for rescue workers. The VCF closed at the end of 2003, leaving hundreds of first responders who got sick afterwards with no justice.
Moreover, many people who worked in the recovery and cleanup — as well as people who lived, worked or attended school in Lower Manhattan or along the path taken by WTC debris on its way to the landfill — also suffered injury or illness as a result of contact with dust, smoke and fumes. Until the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act reopened the VCF in 2011 (named in honor of our friend and client NYPD Detective Jimmy Zadroga), those people were excluded from compensation. Now, the Fund will compensate people who were present at the September 11th crash sites between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002 and who suffered physical harm as a result of their exposure to the toxic dust and air that was present at Ground Zero and along the debris removal route.
However, if you have been diagnosed with any of the illnesses, below, you must register with the VCF before the October 3, 2013 deadline. You may receive compensation from the VCF if you suffered traumatic physical injury or any of the following illnesses because of your presence on or near the crash site or debris pathways:
- Interstitial lung disease
- Chronic Respiratory Disorder
- Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS)
- WTC-exacerbated Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Chronic cough syndrome
- Chronic problems with nasal passages and other airways
- Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD)
- Sleep apnea exacerbated by or related to the above conditions
- Low back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- 62 types of cancer
- Certain other musculoskeletal disorders
Our skilled attorneys can provide the guidance you need. All consultations are free and confidential. Please take the time to learn your legal rights and bear in mind that there is a strict deadline to register.