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What are the Geographical Boundaries for the WTC Health Program vs. the VCF and What Does That Mean Regarding My Eligibility?

Both the World Trade Center Health Program and the Victim Compensation Fund require survivors to prove that they were in the exposure zone on 9/11 or during the World Trade Center clean-up. Each program’s definition of that exposure zone, however, is different. This can sometimes cause confusion for survivors trying to figure out which of the programs they qualify for – not everybody qualifies for both.

The Victim Compensation Fund Boundaries (click on the description for a map):
“The NYC Exposure Zone is defined as the area in Manhattan south of the line that runs along Canal Street from the Hudson River to the intersection of Canal Street and East Broadway, north on East Broadway to Clinton Street, and east on Clinton Street to the East River; and any area related to or along the routes of debris removal, such as barges and Fresh Kills landfill.”

It’s usually stated for simplicity’s sake that this program covers anybody “below Canal Street,” but it’s worth noting that on the east side the program’s zone actually extends above Canal street along East Broadway to Clinton Street. Anybody who was present on 9/11 or lived, worked, or attended school within this zone in the months that followed is eligible for compensation for their 9/11-linked physical health conditions.

What many people don’t realize is that being present in this zone on 9/11 itself or having regular work obligations within it in the months that followed may qualify you for this program even if your primary office address was outside the covered area. People who had a regular professional need to be below Canal Street during the clean-up and are able to provide witnesses who saw them there regularly may qualify. People may also qualify if they attended regular classes in this zone, even as a part-time student or as part of a regular organized after-school activities.

If you were just outside this zone, you may still qualify for no-cost healthcare from the World Trade Center Health Program. That’s because this program’s boundaries cover a greater area.

The World Trade Center Health Program Boundaries (click on the description for a map):
“The area within New York City that is the area of Manhattan south of Houston Street, and any block in Brooklyn wholly or partially contained within a 1.5 mile radius of the former WTC complex.”

Many people don’t realize that this health program zone includes an area of Western Brooklyn, as well as parts of Manhattan that aren’t in the VCF’s definition of the exposure zone. Parts of Brooklyn Heights, as well as the Lower East Side, Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo, and NoLita are all covered by this program.

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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

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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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