If you were in Lower Manhattan below Canal Street on or after 9/11, you have the right to register with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), even if you are currently healthy.
And, if you are diagnosed with any of the 69 different types of cancer and many respiratory illnesses resulting from exposure to Ground Zero toxins, you are eligible to claim a compensation award from the 9/11 VCF.
Both first responders who worked at the World Trade Center site and survivors (people working, living, and studying in Lower Manhattan on and after 9/11) are eligible.
But even today, more than twenty years after 9/11, there are unfortunately many eligible 9/11 victims who have not yet claimed an award.
Some victims – particularly survivors – are unaware of their right to access the 9/11 VCF.
In addition, other victims are mistakenly concerned that their award could reduce the amount of the compensation fund, depriving responders or people with terminal illnesses of a full award.
Know that your 9/11 VCF award WILL NOT reduce anyone else’s award. All claims are paid in full, and the VCF has been fully funded by the federal government through 2092.
Remember that if you are diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness, your family medical history and pre-existing conditions will not affect your eligibility for free health care or compensation.
If you were there in Lower Manhattan, the government presumes your cancer was the result of exposure to Ground Zero toxins.
The free health program provides comprehensive medical care to 9/11 victims for their 9/11-related illnesses.
The victim fund offers tax-free awards for pain and suffering, lost earnings, and benefits for surviving spouses and family members.
For the WTC Health Program, the exposure zone consists of all of Manhattan below Houston Street and parts of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO in Brooklyn.
For the 9/11 VCF, the exposure zone includes the area of Manhattan south of Canal Street and west of Clinton Street.
If you were exposed to Ground Zero toxins, you should know your health status. An early diagnosis could save your life.
Barasch & McGarry, Lawyers for the 9/11 Community, represents more than 35,000 members of the 9/11 community.
Visit 911victims.com or call 212-385-8000 today.