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WTC Disasters and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

First known as shell shock, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a heightened emotional reaction to a known or unknown trigger that immerses a victim in severe anxiety, flashbacks and cascading physiologic response.

While a strong memory is not by itself a symptom of PTSD, that same strong memory can be accompanied by other symptoms including:

  • Intrusive thoughts, memories and flashbacks
  • Difficulty sleeping, engaging in life or being hopeful
  • Easy agitation, anger or loss of control

A Columbia University study evaluated more than 3,000 civilian survivors evacuated from the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. Approximately two to three years following the terrorist attack, almost 95 percent of the survivors reported one PTSD symptom and 15 percent screened positive for PTSD. For those survivors, the following factors were predictors of the occurrence of PTSD:

  • Experiencing an injury
  • Being witness to a horrible action
  • Being caught in the dust cloud after structural collapse
  • Location on an upper floor after the attack

As could be expected, PTSD is more likely to be experienced by those caught in the direct path of death. In this case, late evacuation exacerbated the experience. A 2013 study suggested high risk responders like police may be more resilient to PTSD, but benefit from screening, support and treatment efforts.

Responder or resident, PTSD affects quality of life, functioning and health. If you are concerned about PTSD, speak with a qualified health care provider.

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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.

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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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