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If You Are a 9/11 Survivor Anxious About COVID-19, You Are Not Alone

Physical injuries and illnesses are not the only scars carried by 9/11 responders and survivors. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which in 2001 was much less well understood than it is today, has afflicted many in the 9/11 community. The current coronavirus pandemic is causing the anxiety and depression felt by many PTSD sufferers to flare up.

Certainly there is fear stemming from the knowledge that COVID-19 attacks people who are already suffering from underlying physical conditions, such as cancer and respiratory problems, which are extremely common maladies in the 9/11 community. But fear isn’t the only reason the 9/11 heroes and survivors are feeling unsettled during the pandemic. PTSD-like symptoms are also appearing out of a sense of helplessness in the face of this new viral enemy.

Dr. Jason Kornrich, a psychologist at the World Trade Center Health Program, told WCBS Radio in New York that some of his 9/11 patients “really feel like there is another national disaster which they should be involved in and they should be helping. I think they’re going to still be very conflicted and feel very guilty that they’re not on the frontlines so much these days, especially our retirees.”

If what Dr. Kornrich says is true, it is a testament to the spirit of those who responded and survived 9/11. Even with the physical and emotional trauma they’ve endured, these brave people still have the desire to help others. The problem is that this time, with COVID-19, there’s nothing they can do aside from the same things we’re all doing — staying home, wearing masks and social distancing. It’s easy to understand how a person wired to save others could feel like that just isn’t enough.

If you’re in the 9/11 community, we want you to know you have no reason to feel guilt over COVID-19. This pandemic is simply a different type of event from September 11 and one that you can rely on the medical and healthcare professions to handle, the way you handled yourself and helped others in 2001.

The attorneys of Barasch & McGarry advise and represent 9/11 responders, survivors and their families. If you’re struggling with anxiety over COVID-19, please don’t hesitate to contact your trusted health care provider. If you need help finding someone to speak with, you can call our New York office and we would be happy to assist. Reach us at 888-351-9421 or contact us online.

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  • 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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