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WTC Health Program Takes Steps to Address Wait Times for New Initial Health Evaluations

The World Trade Center Health Program provides health screenings and treatment for 9/11 responders and others suffering from the effects of the terrorists attacks in New York as well as the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. For the last 18 months, the WTC Health Program has seen increased applications to enroll in the program, leading to longer-than-acceptable wait times for initial health screenings and certification. These are necessary not only for WTC Health Program services but also for September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) benefits.

The WTC Health Program attributes the uptick in enrollment to two factors:

  • Ongoing outreach efforts by the program and others that raise awareness among potential enrollees
  • The VCF’s new requirement that claimants have the WTC Health Program certify their health conditions to facilitate VCF compensation

The WTC Health Program assures the public it is “taking active steps” to deal with increased wait times and is considering options to expand the program’s capacity to process new applications.

At Barasch & McGarry, we can point to a couple of additional reasons for an increase in Health Program applicants:

  • Diseases with long latency periods are emerging — As more time passes, more cancers that take a decade or longer to develop are starting to impact the population of survivors. Officials are keeping a close eye on mesothelioma, a particularly deadly cancer that can take from 10 to 40 years to strike.
  • Persons who did not identify as 9/11 survivors are finding they belong to an affected cohort — The focus of these programs has always been on 9/11 first responders, rescue/recovery workers and civilians caught in the toxic dust cloud at Ground Zero. However, 9/11-related cancers are starting to emerge among teachers and students in Lower Manhattan schools as well as individuals who lived or worked below Canal Street in the days, weeks, and months following the attacks. These people now realize the risk of their own exposure and are seeking guidance.

As attorneys who have been fighting for 9/11 victims’ rights since the beginning, Barasch & McGarry urges anyone who has received a diagnosis of an illness linked to 9/11 to register immediately with the Victim Compensation Fund. Don’t let a delay at the WTC Health Program prevent you from meeting the legal requirement that you register with VCF within two years of a diagnosis.

For a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you obtain the benefits you deserve, please contact us online or call Barasch & McGarry at 888-351-9421.

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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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