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Like 9/11 Responders, COVID-19 Frontline Workers Deserve a Victim Compensation Fund

Every day we hear stories about how today’s heroes — doctors, nurses, government service providers, cleaning crews, grocery store clerks and other “essential” workers — risk their health to make sure the rest of us can be as safe as possible during the coronavirus pandemic. But we hear other stories, too, about how some of these workers get sick and die from the virus they’re fighting against. With the COVID-19 pandemic far from over, now is the time for us to consider what can and should be done for the families these heroes leave behind.

Setting up a compensation fund for these families is an idea that deserves serious discussion. New York City’s current comptroller, Scott Stringer, recently argued in favor of a COVID-19 compensation fund in an op-ed in the New York Daily News, citing the September 11 Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) as the model to emulate.

In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, Congress created the VCF to dispense $7 billion to first responders, survivors and anyone who was hurt or killed in the attack or who became ill because of the debris in the areas around the site. This original VCF closed in 2004 but many people continued to get sick and die in the years following the attacks. The fund was reactivated in 2011 as part of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, named for the police detective who developed black lung disease due to exposure at Ground Zero. The VCF has now been extended to 2090, which means 9/11 responders and their families won’t have to worry if they’ll receive compensation for their sacrifice.

Today, in a COVID-19 world, we have a new set of responders. Police, firefighters and EMTs are again among them but so are thousands of others who perform essential work and cannot quarantine. The children and spouses of those who die responding to the pandemic deserve compensation for their loss. Maybe if we start now, a COVID-19 relief fund can be established without years of political back and forth over budgeting and debate over the value of these heroes’ lives.

The attorneys of Barasch & McGarry represent 9/11 responders and survivors. We believe in fair treatment of those who pull society through difficult times, whether it’s 9/11 or COVID-19. To speak with a New York attorney, call 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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