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Upcoming Deadline for Volunteer 9/11 Responders

August 17, 2022 | Michael Barasch

An upcoming deadline approaches for volunteer 9/11 first responders and recovery workers who worked in Lower Manhattan on 9/11 and in the weeks and months that followed. 

Thousands of volunteers supported the search-and-rescue and recovery operations at Ground Zero, the Fresh Kills Landfill, barges between Lower Manhattan and the landfill, and the New York City Mortuary (the morgue) at Bellevue Hospital.

These volunteers must now notify the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board by September 11, 2022 to qualify for benefits in the future.  

The notice establishes eligibility for a World Trade Center accidental disability presumption or an accidental death benefit. 

You are eligible to file even if you are not currently sick.

9/11 volunteers and other first responders, as well as anyone who worked, lived, or studied in Lower Manhattan after 9/11, should also sign up with the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).

The health program provides free, comprehensive medical care to 9/11 victims for their 9/11-related illnesses. The fund offers tax-free awards for pain and suffering, lost earnings, and benefits for surviving spouses and family members.

The victim fund offers tax-free awards for pain and suffering, lost earnings, and benefits for surviving spouses and family members.

There are still many responders and survivors who have not yet registered or enrolled.

If you were there, you have the right to register with the 9/11 VCF – even if currently healthy – and enroll in the WTC Health Program if you are diagnosed with the 9/11-related illness.

For the WTC Health Program, the exposure zone includes all of Manhattan below Houston Street and parts of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO in Brooklyn.

For the 9/11 VCF, the exposure zone is smaller – it includes the area of Manhattan south of Canal Street and west of Clinton Street.

Barasch & McGarry, Lawyers for the 9/11 Community, represents more than 30,000 members of the 9/11 community.

If you were exposed to Ground Zero toxins, you should know your health status. Don’t let a delayed diagnosis become a death sentence.

Visit or call 800-314-0683.

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