Skip to content

Construction Workers


  • Thousands of construction workers, contractors, and clean-up crews worked in Lower Manhattan on September 11th and in the 8 months that followed.
  • Long term respiratory illnesses and 69 different cancers have been found in workers who breathed the air during the NYC clean-up and rebuilding.
  • $10 billion is available through the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) for eligible workers.
  • Barasch & McGarry represents over 20,000 people in the 9/11 community. We are the firm workers turn to for help with their VCF claims.

Experienced 9/11 Lawyers Helping Construction Workers

In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, countless construction workers rushed down to Ground Zero to aid in the recovery and clean up operations in the 9/11 aftermath. Construction workers selflessly started work immediately, before they knew whether or not the air was safe. Federal, state and local officials did not understand the gravity of the toxic contamination and allowed work to go forward without proper guidelines for workers’ safety. As a result, many construction workers have been afflicted with the same cancers and respiratory illnesses that have decimated 9/11 first responders.

Fortunately, assistance is available. Construction workers, contractors, and clean-up workers who develop 9/11-related cancers and other illnesses can qualify for free health care from the WTC Health Program (WTCHP) and compensation from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). At Barasch & McGarry, we have represented injured construction workers for decades and have been advocates for victims of 9/11 since the very beginning. We are determined to help construction workers obtain the 9/11 benefits they deserve.

Construction Workers’ Right to 9/11 Health Benefits & Compensation

In 2019, after dozens of trips down to Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress, our firm and many other 9/11 advocates aided in the full funding and permanent extension of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund— the government fund with over $10 billion to compensate construction workers, contractors, and volunteers who have become sick or have died from WTC-linked cancers and illnesses. Passage of the Never Forget the Heroes Act essentially ensures funds are available to compensate all who are currently sick or get sick in the future.

Actual Client VCF Awards

View More Results

$3,700,651for a disabled NYC police officer due to leukemia

$3,254,242for wrongful death of a firefighter due to 9/11-related asthma/RADS

$2,811,150for a disabled stock broker due to multiple myeloma

$1,934,316for a disabled teacher due to esophageal cancer

$1,422,694for wrongful death of a downtown office worker due to pulmonary fibrosis

$1,251,411for wrongful death of a paralegal working in a downtown law firm due to breast cancer

$1,345,427for a NYC Police Officer with breast cancer

$1,188,741for a disabled EMT with colon cancer

$1,011,957for the wrongful death of a sound engineer due to bladder cancer

The second program available to 9/11 survivors is the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) which provides free health screenings and medical treatment. The program covers bystanders, like students, who developed illnesses from the toxins released in the air in Lower Manhattan. This free health care is available nationwide.

Many thousands of workers are potentially eligible for these programs, but claims in this category have been low, indicating that many injured and sick construction workers have not made the connection between their illnesses and the conditions on 9/11 or in the months that followed.

69 Cancers and Illnesses Affecting Construction Workers

Now that two decades have passed, cancers and illnesses have emerged due to the toxic dust inhaled while crews worked on the debris pile at Ground Zero and as part of the rebuilding and clean-up efforts throughout Lower Manhattan. The devastating effects have manifested to include:

  • Cancer: 69 known or potential carcinogens, including asbestos, arsenic and formaldehyde, have been found in the smoke, dust and fumes from the World Trade Center collapse and fire. Resulting from these toxins, the list of cancers linked to the WTC disaster zone now includes 69 specific types of cancers such as: lung, breast, skin, blood, prostate, colon, trachea, esophageal, kidney, bladder, thyroid and ovarian cancers, as well as childhood cancers.
  • Respiratory illnesses: So far, studies have shown that nearly everyone with prolonged exposure to the cloud of dust that rose over the WTC site has suffered decreased pulmonary capacity. Common illnesses include: asthma diagnoses, sarcoidosis, emphysema, decreased pulmonary function, exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic rhinosinusitis or nasopharyngitis, and chronic coughing disorders, among others.
  • Mental health: People present at or near the World Trade Center site at the time of the disaster face an increased risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety disorders, as well as increased rates of substance and alcohol abuse.

Steps Construction Workers Must Take to Prove VCF Eligibility

Workers who are healthy should register for the World Trade Center Health Program to protect their rights to a claim later on. Those who have become ill should additionally take steps to investigate if their condition is one of the many linked to the toxins on 9/11. To prove eligibility for VCF benefits, construction workers must demonstrate:

  • Employment south of Canal Street from Sept. 11, 2001 to May 30, 2002
  • Diagnosis of a cancer or specific respiratory illnesses linked to the toxic dust of the WTC

But critically, you must register within the time permitted, or you could lose your right to compensation.

I recently received my VCF payment check. I know a lot of people in your office made this possible with their hard work. Please let them know how much they have helped my family. My thoughts will always be with the hard working people of your firm who made this possible.

9/11 Survivor

Deadline To Register For 9/11 VCF

Deadlines to register VCF claims are approaching. If you or anyone you know had cancer or lost a family member, reach out to us to register for compensation quickly.

If you were exposed to the toxic air on 9/11 or in the 8 months that followed, but have not had your medical condition linked to 9/11, you also still have time to apply for significant compensation. The deadline to apply to the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is two years from the date that your cancer or illness has been certified by the WTC Health Program. The two-year period to register doesn’t start on the day of diagnosis. Rather, it starts only when a victim is made aware their condition was linked to exposure to the WTC toxins.

For those who died from their WTC-linked condition, the two-year period for their family to register starts on the day of the death of the WTC victim.

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 contact us for a free consultation.

Contact Us

It’s important to act quickly. Find out if you’re eligible to receive compensation from the $10 billion set aside for 9/11 victims. Call us at 212-385-8000 or contact us online today.

Construction Workers

Additional Topics

  • 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)

    Learn about the 9/11 VCF; permanently funded with over $10 billion to compensate anyone with 9/11-linked illnesses and 69 different cancers.

    Read More
  • World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP)

    Find out about the WTCHP which provides free medical monitoring, testing, treatment, and prescription drugs for a range of 9/11-linked conditions.

    Read More
  • 9/11 VCF Results & Awards

    Barasch & McGarry has recovered more money from the Victim's Compensation Fund than any other law firm. See example awards & results.

    Read More
  • Why Barasch & McGarry

    With over 20,000 clients under representation and $3 Billion+ recovered from the Victim Compensation Fund, find out why Barasch & McGarry are truly "Lawyers for the 9/11 Community".

    Read More

Home Live Chat

Photo of Michael Barasch.
Online Now

Hi, we are here to help if you have questions.