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James Zadroga Act FAQs

How long do I have to submit my claim?

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 reopened the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for five years beginning in October 2011. The Zadroga law required responders and survivors who already knew of physical harm resulting from the attacks of September 11 to file with the VCF within two years. That deadline passed in October, 2013. If you are among those injured who discovered their illness after the Fund reopened, (or whose illness was added to the list of WTC-related diseases after the Fund reopened) you must file your claim within two years of the date of your diagnosis. The WTC Victim Compensation Fund will stop accepting claims on October 3, 2016.

Who is eligible to file a claim?

If you were present at a 9/11 crash site at the time of the attacks or in the immediate aftermath, defined as the period between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002, and suffered physical harm as a direct result of the attacks or of rescue, recovery, cleanup efforts or debris removal, you may be an eligible claimant. In addition, personal representatives, such as spouses, parents, children, etc. of people who died as a result of physical harm sustained at the 9/11 crash sites during the covered period may apply for compensation. Because of the June 2012 ruling that includes certain types of WTC-related cancers among the illnesses eligible for Zadroga Act benefits, many people previously excluded from the Victim Compensation Fund may now apply.

How do I prove that I or my loved one was present at a 9/11 crash site?

This can be particularly difficult, as more than 10 years have elapsed since the disaster and the covered time period. In general, you must find and submit documentary evidence showing that you lived or worked on or near a WTC crash site. This can include:

  • Employment records such as pay stubs, personnel rosters, shift plans
  • Tax returns, lease or mortgage agreements, utility bills
  • Work orders, invoices, other records of work you completed on or near a 9/11 crash site
  • Sworn and notarized affidavits from people who know you and know that you were present at a 9/11 crash site during the covered period

What sorts of injuries are eligible for compensation?

Physical injuries not listed below that you believe were caused by WTC toxic exposure may be covered at the Victim Compensation Fund’s discretion. The following are presumptively covered:

  • Interstitial lung diseases
  • Chronic Respiratory Disorder
  • Asthma
  • Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS)
  • WTC-exacerbated Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Chronic Cough Syndrome
  • Upper airway hyperreactivity
  • Chronic rhinosinusitis
  • Chronic nasopharyngitis
  • Chronic laryngitis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD)
  • Sleep apnea exacerbated by or related to the above conditions
  • Low back pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)
  • Certain other musculoskeletal disorders caused by repetitive stress on the joints or skeleton during the covered period
  • Traumatic injuries such as broken bones, head injuries and other blunt traumas

As of June 2012, the Zadroga Act also covers 68 specific types of WTC-related cancers, including lung, breast, colon, trachea, esophageal, kidney, bladder, skin, thyroid, blood and ovarian cancers, as well as childhood cancers.

Do I need a lawyer to apply?

No, technically, you do not need a lawyer to apply to the Victim Compensation Fund. But attorneys experienced with applications for Zadroga Act benefits can make the process easier and less harrowing for you while helping ensure that you receive the most compensation available. The compassionate personal injury attorneys at Barasch & McGarry have been intimately involved with the development of the Victim Compensation Fund since before the first Fund opened in 2001. They use their hard-won knowledge to help you get as much compensation as possible. Special provisions of the WTC Victim Compensation Fund cap their attorneys’ fees at 10 percent, rather than the 33–40 percent more typical in personal injury cases.

Need College Scholarship information for the children of those who were killed or injured by the WTC attacks?

We thank “Tuesday’s Children” for collecting and sharing this information with us. » Click here for more information.

Barasch & McGarry — helping set things right

No other law firm in the country has recovered more money from the Victim Compensation Fund for its injured clients than Barasch & McGarry. While we know that no amount of money could ever make up for your pain and losses, we strongly believe that everyone injured, made ill or bereaved by the catastrophe of September 11 should receive as much financial support as possible. Please contact us online or by phone at 888.351.9421 to determine eligibility for WTC compensation or to start the process of applying for James L. Zadroga Act benefits.

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