What Are My Options If My Injuries Are Not a Presumptively Covered Condition?
Presumptively covered conditions are those that have been definitely linked to 9/11. Generally, the Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) covers only injuries and diseases on this list. However, the VCF amends its list periodically. For example, the VCF amended its list to include several types of cancer in October 2012, added prostate cancer in October 2013 and revised its definition of rare cancers earlier this year. The list was updated when researchers concluded causation between these diseases and 9/11. The list may be updated again as new findings emerge.
The VCF also makes clear that the list represents broad categories of conditions rather than every possible type of covered condition within the major categories. Therefore, if you do not see your condition listed specifically, you should still consider applying.
The VCF bases its presumptively covered conditions on research conducted and gathered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) under the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program. In addition to its own findings, the WTC Health Program considers recommendations made by 9/11 victims and health organizations.
As a provision of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, interested parties are permitted to petition the WTC Health Program directly. Any of the following may be considered an interested party:
- A person whose injury or illness is related to 9/11
- The family member of a person whose death resulted from 9/11
- An organization, such as a research facility, medical clinic or nonprofit entity
The petition must provide medical proof of the relationship between the 9/11 exposure and the condition in the form of peer-reviewed, published studies or clinical case reports. The WTC Health Program does not accept anecdotal evidence as conclusive of the association between illness and 9/11 exposure.
The regulations for recovering compensation are complex. Barasch & McGarry can evaluate whether you qualify for VCF and take a proactive role in getting you the help you need.