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Disability Benefits for Toxic Exposure

Disability Benefits for Toxic Exposure

How to qualify

Workers’ compensation law and union-negotiated pension and disability benefits cover all city workers. The World Trade Center Disability Law took effect in New York State in 2005, creating special rules to govern workers’ compensation and disability benefits for New York City employees injured or disabled by rescue, recovery or cleanup operations at the WTC and associated areas.

Improved disability retirement benefits for certain New York City employees

The WTC Disability Law covers most New York City employees who responded to the collapse of the World Trade Center, including:

  • Uniformed employees of the New York Police Department (NYPD)
  • Uniformed employees of the Fire Department, City of New York (FDNY)
  • Uniformed employees of the Department of Sanitation, New York City (DSNY)
  • Uniformed employees of the Department of Corrections (DOC)
  • Civilian employees, such as EMS workers, 911 dispatchers and supervisors, and emergency vehicle radio repair mechanics
  • Vested members of a public pension system who stopped working before filing a claim
  • Workers who became disabled more than two years after the WTC disaster and so were unable to file a claim

The law entitles covered employees suffering from certain qualifying physical or mental conditions to receive accidental disability retirement benefits instead of ordinary disability retirement benefits — 75 percent of pay, tax free, instead of 50 percent of pay, taxed. This applies to those who worked at a WTC site for at least 40 hours during the period between September 11, 2001 and September 12, 2002 or worked at Ground Zero for any amount of time during the first 48 hours after the attacks.

For the purposes of the WTC Disability Law, WTC sites include almost all of Manhattan south of Canal Street, the Fresh Kills Landfill, the New York City Morgue or temporary morgue locations, emergency vehicle garages and emergency call centers, and areas where city-owned sanitation and emergency vehicles contaminated with WTC debris were cleaned, repaired or rehabilitated.

Applying for accidental disability retirement benefits

The seasoned personal injury attorneys at Barasch & McGarry have decades of experience helping NYC firefighters injured in the line of duty get the disability benefits and pensions to which they are entitled. We can help you through the process of applying and qualifying for the higher, tax-free accidental disability pension you deserve after responding to the WTC collapse. We know how to navigate New York City’s complex bureaucracy quickly and smoothly.

WTC disability law and Zadroga Act benefits

In 2011, the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act reopened the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, which provides financial compensation for people who suffered illness or injury as a result of their presence at or near a 9/11 crash site. Receiving financial benefits under the Zadroga Act does not preclude you from qualifying for accidental disability pension benefits under the WTC Disability Law. Furthermore, the World Trade Center Health Program created by the James L. Zadroga Act provides care and covers all of your medical expenses for covered WTC-related health conditions.

Getting all the health and disability benefits you deserve

The WTC disaster continues to reverberate through many of our lives. For those disabled, injured or made ill by toxic exposure to WTC contaminants as they tried to save lives, clean up the mess and begin the rebuilding process, the WTC Disability Law and the James L. Zadroga Act may provide some measure of help.

Barasch & McGarry — helping set things right

Our seasoned personal injury attorneys have helped hundreds of injured rescue, recovery and cleanup workers get hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation from the WTC Victim Compensation Fund. If you feel you may qualify for financial or health benefits under the Zadroga Act, please contact us online or call 888-351-9421 to discuss your eligibility and to begin the application process.

Compensation available to residents and office workers, teachers and students – not just responders and volunteers
Deadline Extended To Register Claims Must file within 2 years from the date your cancer was linked to WTC toxic dust
Our Attorneys
Testimonials
  • "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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