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What Does the New VCF Cap on Cancer Awards Mean for 9/11 Survivors?

When Congress reauthorized the Zadroga Act, renewing the Victim Compensation Fund for five years, some substantive changes were made. The new law places a cap on pain and suffering awards for cancer at $250,000 and for non-cancer illnesses at $90,000. But that does not mean new claimants will necessarily receive lower awards than previous claimants for a number of reasons:

  • These cap amounts, which have now been codified, were the unofficial standard under which the first VCF operated.
  • The new rule interprets the law to mean the cap applies per cancer or illness, not per patient. The Special Master has discretion to award more than the cap amount to claimants who are suffering from more than one type of cancer or non-cancer illness.
  • The cap does not apply to economic damages, such as medical expenses, loss of income and the cost of services to perform necessary tasks a victim can no longer manage.
  • The cap only applies to noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.

In short, the decision to codify the caps within the Reauthorization Act does not substantially change your potential award. But you should also be aware that any award the VCF authorizes for you cannot be greater than your total losses. The VCF reduces your award if you have collateral sources of compensation, such as private insurance. Therefore, if you have a valid claim, your final award should be the total of your economic losses and your noneconomic losses minus any offsets from collateral sources.

If you have questions about your eligibility for Zadroga Act benefits, our experienced attorneys can help you find answers.  Call Barasch, McGarry, Salzman & Penson at 888-351-9421 or contact our office online.

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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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  • "Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson handled everything professionally and with patience. They always had time to answer all my questions and did what they promised. Thanks esp to Brian Calamaris Lee London, and Mariya Atanasova. Thank you." - William Collins, FDNY

  • "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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