As of January 2011, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 reopened the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which had closed in June 2004. This allowed thousands of 9/11 survivors, first responders, workers and volunteers who had developed delayed health effects from exposure to debris to seek compensation for their losses. The first wave of deadlines has already passed for claims from the new fund, but claimants who received diagnoses or otherwise became eligible more recently may still be able to apply for benefits.
The first deadline applied to those who had been diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness before October 3, 2011. These individuals had until October 3, 2013, to file a claim, a deadline that came and went with a surge of application activity. Although this deadline has passed, some individuals may still be eligible to file new claims:
- Individuals who were diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness or injury after October 3, 2011, have two years from the date of their diagnoses to initiate the claims process.
- Changes to the VCF that took effect on October 12, 2012, added certain types of cancer to the list of 9/11-related illnesses. Individuals who were diagnosed with these types of cancer before that date have until October 12, 2014, to begin the claim process.
- On October 21, 2013, prostate cancer was added to the list of WTC-related illnesses. Therefore, otherwise qualifying individuals diagnosed with prostate cancer before that date have until October 21, 2015, to begin the claim process.
If you or your loved one falls into one of these categories, there may still be time to participate in the VCF program. However, collecting the material necessary to support your claim can take time and completed documentation must be submitted by October 3, 2016. Therefore, you should contact an effective Zadroga Act attorney today.