Everyone who currently or formerly lived or worked in Lower Manhattan remembers Christine Todd Whitman, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), telling New Yorkers that the air in Lower Manhattan was “safe to breathe” and the water safe to drink just days after the attacks. Even without her assurances, many of us who live and work in Lower Manhattan would have remained or returned as quickly as possible.
We now know the air was not safe to breathe. Many of the toxins released in the dust, smoke, and fumes surrounding the WTC site persisted in the environment for much longer than the first few days or weeks after the disaster, causing long-term illness and injury for many people — including those who returned to the area after September 11.
WTC-linked Illnesses and Cancers
Some of the health effects related to the September 11th attacks became obvious the moment they occurred: blunt trauma injuries resulting from falling debris, burns and hospitalizations due to smoke inhalation. These types of injuries required immediate action. For many others, especially for Lower Manhattan residents who lived near the WTC site or who lived along the route used to transport WTC debris to garbage barges, long-term health effects have only recently come to light. These include:
Cancer: Officially, there are 69 directly linked WTC cancers such as: lung, breast, prostate, blood, colon, trachea, esophageal, kidney, bladder, skin, thyroid and ovarian cancers, as well as rare and childhood cancers.
Respiratory illnesses: These include new asthma diagnoses, sarcoidosis, emphysema, decreased pulmonary function, exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic rhinosinusitis or nasopharyngitis, and chronic coughing disorders, among others.
Mental and emotional health: Eligible mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, depression disorders, and substance or alcohol abuse caused by the trauma of September 11th.
Zadroga Act Benefits for Lower Manhattan Residents
The James Zadroga Act of 2010 reopened the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) and extended funding for the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP). The act entitles residents who have become ill from a large area surrounding the WTC site to a Victim Compensation Fund settlement. This area, called the 9/11 Exposure Zone, includes:
The VCF zone extending south from Canal Street
The WTCHP zone overlapping and extending down from below Houston Street
Applying for VCF Benefits as a Manhattan Resident
If you believe you might qualify for a Victim Compensation Fund claim, please contact us to speak about the application process. The skilled 9/11 attorneys at Barasch & McGarry are incredibly experienced with these programs. We help you through every step of your claim, ensuring that you and your family get the greatest benefit possible from the VCF.
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.
T.N 9/11 Survivor
Deadline Extended to Register for Compensation
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.
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.