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Benefits Available for Lower Manhattan Teachers Sickened by WTC Toxins

Experienced and dedicated post-9/11 attorneys fight for your rights

With the passage of time, it’s become evident that first responders and recovery workers are not the only persons sickened by toxins released from the wreckage of the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Among the emerging victims are teachers who worked at schools located below Canal Street in Manhattan. Federal, state and local government pushed for a return to normality after the attacks, but that push proved premature. The public was told the air was safe, even as toxic dust was settling everywhere. Fast-forward 16-plus years, teachers who were exposed to toxins in the workplace are developing all the diseases we’ve seen in 9/11 first responders. At Barasch & McGarry, we believe that all victims of 9/11 deserve health benefits and compensation. We are prepared to fight for yours.

Teachers’ rights to benefits from the WTC Victim Compensation Fund

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was initially passed in 2010 and reauthorized in 2016. The Act created the WTC Health Program to provide free health screenings and medical treatment for survivors of the terrorist attacks. This naturally includes individuals who have developed illnesses due to the toxins released at Ground Zero.

The Zadroga Act also created the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), which provides additional benefits. As of August 2017, the VCF had made award determinations on 14,009 claims totaling more than $3 billion. The VCF lists teachers as eligible individuals in the category of Non-Responder NYC, covering people who, through ordinary employment, were in the exposure zone from September 11, 2001 to May 30, 2002. If you have a qualifying condition, you may be eligible for Zadroga Act benefits.

How teachers can qualify for Zadroga Act benefits

To prove eligibility under the Zadroga Act, a teacher must satisfy two requirements:

  • Employment south of Canal Street during the 2001–2002 school year
  • Diagnosis of a cancer or a specific respiratory illnesses linked to the WTC’s toxic dust

Schools that were in session within the contamination zone include:

  • Pace University
  • Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers
  • Stuyvesant High School
  • High School of Economics and Finance
  • Leadership and Public Service High School
  • S. 234 Independence School
  • S. 124 Yung Wing Elementary School
  • S. 150 Tribeca Learning Center
  • S. 126 Jacob August Riis
  • S./I.S. 89
  • S. 1 Alfred E. Smith Elementary School

You do not have to live or work currently in the NYC area to qualify.

Spreading the word about VCF eligibility

Many survivors have left the area and now live in parts of the country without access to the WTC Health Program, so many are unaware of the available benefits. Many others have been sickened but, because of the passage of time, they don’t connect their illness to 9/11.

For example, Catherine Heron, now retired, was a math teacher at the High School of Economics and Finance at 100 Trinity Place.  As she evacuated her students on 9/11, the second tower fell, catching them in a cloud of toxic dust. Catherine developed lung cancer in 2007, but never thought to register for the Victim Compensation fund until this year, when the United Federation of Teachers urged retired educators to enroll.

Barasch & McGarry is actively reaching out to survivors who may be suffering, to inform them of their rights. We urge you to help in those efforts.

Deadline to register for compensation has been extended

If you’ve been diagnosed with any of the 68 cancers linked to the WTC toxic dust, the deadline to apply to the Victim Compensation Fund is two years from the date that a cancer has been certified by the WTC Health Program — or any other governmental agency. Your two-year period doesn’t start with the date of your cancer diagnosis. It only starts when you are made aware your cancer was linked to WTC exposure. If you have a loved one who died from a WTC-linked cancer, you have two years from the date of death to register for benefits.

Contact Barasch & McGarry for guidance on WTC benefits

Barasch & McGarry has been fighting for WTC survivors since the beginning and has recovered more money from the Victim Compensation Fund for its injured clients than any other law firm. To recover the benefits you and other affected teachers deserve, contact us online or by phone at 888-351-9421.

Compensation available to residents and office workers, teachers and students – not just responders and volunteers
Our Attorneys
  • "Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson handled everything professionally and with patience. They always had time to answer all my questions and did what they promised. Thanks esp to Brian Calamaris Lee London, and Mariya Atanasova. Thank you." - William Collins, FDNY

  • "If I could give them six stars I would...don't even bother talking to anyone else concerning 9/11. The whole team worked night and day to deliver an outstanding settlement. They are honest, hard working and extremely professional. Just make the one phone call and let them do the rest." - Les Margulis, resident in the exposure zone

  • "I had a very good experience with Michael and Mariya. They made the process stress free. I would recommend this firm to anyone seeking assistance with 9/11 related illnesses." - JE Kirwan, worked in the exposure zone

  • "The people at this firm were just great. They were concern with making sure I was taken care of in every way possible. When I was given an award Mr. Barasch didn't think it was a fair amount and appealed the decision which got me a larger award. I am very satisfied with everything they did for me in the past and are willing to do for me and my family in the future." - Bob Wiecezak, FDNY-Retired

  • "Excellent law firm. Lee London and his staff were very responsive and always followed up with phone calls or emails. This firm is a strong example of what caring and personable lawyers are all about." - Letitia Egan, wife of client, volunteer in the exposure zone

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

    Register For Compensation

Please help spread the word about the strict two-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.

Let a knowledgeable attorney help you figure it out

A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying. You undoubtedly have questions about your disease and how you will pay for treatment. Lawyers at Barasch & McGarry ensure you understand the complex requirements and help devise the best strategies for obtaining compensation and appropriate medical care under the Zadroga Act. Contact our law firm online or call 888-351-9421. The initial consultation is free, so it costs you nothing to find out whether a lawyer can help.
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