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Names of 9/11 First Responders Who Die of COVID-19 to be Added to Suffolk County Memorial Wall

A 9/11 memorial wall in Nesconset, New York will now bear the names of those with 9/11-related illnesses who have died of COVID-19.

The granite wall at 9/11 Responders Remembered Memorial Park currently lists the names of more than 1,500 heroes who died of illnesses they contracted due to breathing in toxins at Ground Zero. The move to add the names comes on the heels of a recent decision by the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) to grant benefits to those with certified 9/11 illnesses who die of COVID-19.

John Feal, a 9/11 first responder who runs the nonprofit FealGood Foundation, said the VCF’s response to the idea was overwhelming. “When I was done doing my presentation to the board, everybody voted unanimously to add those with a 9/11-related illness that have a compromised immune system and pass away from COVID. It was a no-brainer to add them,” Feal said in a news article.

“9/11 responder immune systems are compromised, so for the last 19 years their immune systems have deteriorated,” Feal noted. “They were not able to fight COVID-19 like they could have.”

As a result of the VCF’s decision, 22 names are expected to be added to the memorial wall within a few months, and as many as 80 names could be added by next fall. Since making the announcement, Feal says his foundation has received more than 150 submissions from families seeking to add their loved one’s names.

Here at Barasch & McGarry, we are grateful for the FealGood Foundation’s commitment to honoring Sept. 11 heroes stricken with 9/11-related illnesses and COVID-19. In a time when dying first responders and survivors often can’t be around their families or even receive proper funerals, it is even more important that we think of other ways to honor and remember these heroes.

We are also pleased that the VCF has extended benefits to responders and survivors who contract COVID-19. If you would like more information on this form of relief or any other aspect of the various health programs available to members of the 9/11 community, please call us at 212-385-8000.

Our New York law firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of the 9/11 community. Call us anytime at 888-351-9421 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation with an attorney. We’ll help you understand the VCF, the WTC Health Program, and help get you enrolled if you aren’t already.

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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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