It has gradually become clear that the population of at-risk survivors of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City includes more than 400,000 residents, office workers, former students, and teachers who were in Lower Manhattan on that day and during the subsequent eight months. These survivors were exposed to the same deadly toxins as first responders, rescue and recovery workers, and debris removal workers. Not surprisingly, the same diseases affecting what we now call the 9/11 community, including 68 deadly cancers, are now emerging in this broader population. The WTC Health Program is seeking to address this next wave of victims, but the need for case evaluations has overwhelmed the system, leading to long delays in certification that can delay access to treatment, putting these patients in grave jeopardy.
Part of the WTC Health Program response has been to open a Surge Clinic at 156 William Street. This new location, opened in late August 2018, allows survivors who have enrolled in the program to receive their initial health evaluations (it is not a treatment center). These evaluations are in-depth examinations that screen for physical and mental health conditions related to the WTC attacks. Once a survivor’s health condition is certified as WTC-related, the staff at the William Street Clinic can coordinate care with WTC Health Program-affiliated providers throughout the metropolitan area.
Survivors who are sick from exposure to 9/11 toxicity should be able to get an appointment for a health screening within a reasonable time. However, given the nature of these diseases, time is of the essence. Because no one should wait for care, the WTC Health Program Call Center — at 888-982-4748 — helps survivors with an urgent condition get an expedited appointment.
Survivors should also know they may be eligible for monetary compensation (in addition to medical treatment) through the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
As determined lawyers for 9/11 victims, we want to see all eligible parties receive the care and compensation they deserve. Barasch & McGarry has recovered more than $2 billion for 9/11 victims. If you need assistance accessing your 9/11 benefits, call us at [ln::phone] or contact our Manhattan office online.