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Lower Manhattan Workers and 9/11 Illnesses

Fighting for fair compensation

The first 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund provided compensation to WTC workers who were injured on the World Trade Center site during or in the 72 hours immediately following the attacks, and to families who lost loved ones in that same time period. Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson worked with hundreds of clients — including firefighters, police, EMT personnel, and Lower Manhattan residents and commuters. Ultimately, we recovered more money for our injured clients from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund than any other law firm. The original 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund closed in 2004.

Unfortunately, the need for compensation and additional medical care did not end when the first Fund closed. Signed into law in January 2011, the 2010 Zadroga Act aims to help victims of exposure to toxic dust, debris and fumes with latent injuries and illnesses that only became apparent over time. The Zadroga Act also helps those whose exposure occurred in one of the geographic regions the original 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund did not cover.

WTC workers’ illnesses

For some people who worked in or near the World Trade Center, injuries and losses were immediately apparent. For others, the extent of injury or illness only emerged years after the attacks.

  • Cancer: Seventy 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. A June 2012 decision by the head of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health includes cancer for the first time on the list of illnesses and injuries covered by the Victim Compensation Fund. The list includes 68 specific types of WTC-related cancers, such as lung, breast, colon, trachea, esophageal, kidney, bladder, skin, thyroid, blood 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, smoke and fumes that rose over the WTC site has suffered decreased pulmonary capacity. Unlike typical cases of smoke inhalation, those exposed to that initial cloud do not seem to be healing and recovering pulmonary capacity over time.
  • Other physical ailments: Other physical illnesses and injuries found among WTC workers include sinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), sarcoidosis, emphysema and sleep apnea.
  • 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. Mental health issues are more likely to occur in people who also suffered physical injury.

The seasoned personal injury attorneys at Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson have already helped hundreds of claimants get the highest settlements possible from the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund. We know the claims system and application process inside and out. We encourage you to read more about the Zadroga Act and the Victim Compensation Fund on these pages, and then contact us if you would like to learn more.

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 2 years from the date that a cancer has been certified by the WTC Health Program —or any other governmental agency. The 2 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 2 year period for their family to register starts on the day of the death of the WTC victim.

Please help spread the word about the strict 2 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.

Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson — helping set things right

No other law firm in the country has collected more money from the Victim Compensation Fund for its injured clients than Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson Please contact us online or call 347-363-3763 to schedule a free consultation. We can help you determine your eligibility for WTC compensation or start the process of applying for Zadroga Act benefits.

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