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WTC Presumption Helps Eligible Workers Boost Retirement Benefits

The New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), in addition to other city and state pension systems (including the FDNY, NYPD, and NYCERS), provides pension benefits for workers who have served the required length of time. For some workers, the package could be slightly more than 50 percent of their final average salary (FAS). But workers who are forced into retirement because of a work-related disability receive a much greater package: 75 percent of their FAS. For this reason, it is advantageous for every eligible worker to make sure their retirement is properly classified as a disability retirement. If you participated in the World Trade Center rescue, recovery, or cleanup efforts and have since retired, the World Trade Center Presumption Law may help you reclassify to a WTC disability pension. The result would be a more comfortable retirement for you and greater support for your dependents.

The WTC Presumption Law says that if your permanently disabling condition is the result of your participation in the events of September 11th and after, you qualify for an accidental disability unless it can be proven your condition is the result of other factors.

The qualifications for a reclassification are as follows:

  • You were an active member of NYSLRS on September 11, 2001.
  • As you entered service, you took and passed a required physical exam that did not show the existence of your disabling condition, or you can present medical records showing the absence of the condition.
  • You participated in WTC rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations within the first 48 hours of the attack or a minimum of 40 hours at any time between September 11, 2001 and September 12, 2002. Your participation must have taken place at the WTC site (encompassing most of lower Manhattan), the New York City morgue or any temporary morgues, the Fresh Kills Landfill, or on the barges that ran between Manhattan and the Fresh Kills Landfill. If you were not a rescue or recovery worker, you could still be eligible if you worked at certain specified NYPD, FDNY, or emergency medical services sites during the first 24 hours or worked on New York City-owned vehicles and equipment that were exposed.
  • The Retirement System has ruled you are permanently incapacitated and unable to perform your job.

To begin, you must file an Application for World Trade Center Accidental Disability Presumption by the new deadline, September 11, 2022. If you are not currently disabled but you fit the other criteria, you should preserve your rights by filing an Application for World Trade Center Notice by the same deadline.

As determined lawyers for 9/11 victims, we want to see all eligible parties receive the full measure of benefits they deserve. Barasch & McGarry has recovered more than $2 billion for 9/11 victims. If you need assistance accessing your 9/11 benefits or reclassifying your NYSLRS pension, call us at 888-351-9421 or contact our Manhattan office online.

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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

  • "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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