Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition that develops after facing a traumatic event. With PTSD, the high adrenaline response to escape from danger is relived even though danger is no longer present. PTSD can develop as a result of any traumatic incident and many people who were involved in one way or another with the 9/11 terrorist attack suffer from PTSD.
The Zadroga Act did not define PTSD as a physical injury to the body and for this reason the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) explains that the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) does not cover victims suffering from PTSD. Because PTSD receives treatment that addresses a mental or psychological condition, the VCF does not cover PTSD in its list of illnesses compensated by the program.
However, several 9/11 mental health resources are available including:
- WorldTradeCenter (WTC) Mental Health Services for the greater New York area. The Centers of Excellence, Fire Department City of New York (FDNY), Mount Sinai Consortium and WTCEnvironmentalHealthCenters offer free counseling and treatment for PTSD and 9/11 related mental health conditions.
- Logistics Health offers nationwide mental health services for WTC responders and volunteers who live outside the New York area under the WTC National Responder Program.
Often PTSD goes hand in hand with physical conditions that are eligible for treatment under the Zadroga Act. In fact, the World Trade Center Health Program has ongoing research projects that analyze and use mind-body treatments for reducing PTSD and respiratory disease associated with PTSD.
An experienced Zadroga Act attorney from Barasch & McGarry can provide you with valuable guidance to receive compensation from the VCF, or help you pursue other legal options for 9/11-related health conditions.