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The Geographic Presence Requirement of the Zadroga Act

Geographic presence is one of the two main qualifications for participation in both the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and the World Trade Center Health Program. Basically, the requirement is that a claimant must have actually been present at an attack site during the attack itself or the subsequent cleanup effort. However, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 recognized that some individuals developed serious conditions from debris exposure even though they were never present at one of the sites. That is why certain exceptions have been made to broaden participation in both programs.

The 9/11 crash sites include not only the World Trade Center buildings and surrounding areas but also a substantial exposure zone in New York City. This includes areas south of Canal Street, East Broadway and Clinton Street. Even some people outside this zone can qualify:

  • Those present at the Fresh Kills landfill or other debris disposal sites, as well as routes on which debris was transported
  • Employees of the NYC medical examiner’s office or other morgue employees who worked with human remains from the attack up to May 30, 2002
  • Workers who repaired or handled vehicles and other equipment contaminated by WTC debris before May 30, 2002

Victims must be able to prove their presence in an exposure zone through employment records, affidavits or other evidence. A Zadroga Act attorney can help determine whether you meet the physical presence requirement and how best to prove it for your VCF claim.

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Compensation available to residents and office workers, teachers and students – not just responders and volunteers
Deadline Extended To Register Claims Must file within 2 years from the date your cancer was linked to WTC toxic dust
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  • "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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