The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks changed our lives forever. The effects of the World Trade center attack are still impacting tens of thousands of rescue and recovery workers, office workers and residents who were exposed to the toxic air and dust in lower Manhattan. William Dubanevich has been helping these individuals since day one. He understands how their lives and their families lives have been turned upside down from death, cancer, lung disease and other illnesses caused by exposure to the contaminated air. Day in and day out, he continues to help individuals obtain medical treatment, financial compensation and closure for the harm they suffered.
What is the 9/11 Zadroga Act Victim’s Compensation Fund?
The first September 11th Victim’s Compensation Fund (VCF) was enacted by Congress in 2011 shortly after the attacks. The VCF provided compensation to individuals who suffered physical injury or death as a result of the 9/11 attacks. The original VCF fund closed on December 23, 2003. Approximately seven years later on January 2, 2011, President Obama signed into law the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, (Zadroga 9/11 Act) passed as H.R. 847, which reactivated the Victim Compensation Fund. The new law was named for James Zadroga, a New York police detective who spent hundreds of hours working at Ground Zero and died five years later from respiratory illnesses caused by dust he inhaled at the scene. The Zadroga 9/11 Act of 2010 was reauthorized in 2015 (https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1786) and extends health benefits for another 75 years and the time to file a claim to December 18, 2020. The reauthorization also provides approximately $4.5 billion in compensation over the next five years.
The Zadroga 9/11 Act provides medical benefits and compensation to workers, volunteers and residents who lived or worked in Lower Manhattan https://www.vcf.gov/nycExposureMap.html.
Who is eligible to file claims with the VCF?
Anyone who was a first responder, construction or utility worker, rescue, recovery or clean volunteer or worker, or who anyone worked or lived in, or attended school in lower Manhattan, south of Canal Street from September 11, 2001 or anytime to 2002, and has an injury can file a claim with the VCF. We are providing help to:
- Construction, Utility, Communication and Transportation Workers
- Police officers, Fire fighters, Sanitation workers and EMTs
- Office workers
What types of injuries are compensable under the VCF?
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) confirmed what many of us already knew that exposure to the WTC toxic dust can cause cancer. As a result, the Zadroga 9/11 Act and VCF that now covers 68 different WTC-related cancers. The Act also covers other debilitating and potentially disabling injuries like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, mesothelioma, asbestosis, chronic rhinosinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), Interstitial lung diseases, reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS) ,WTC-exacerbated and new-onset chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). See https://wtc911illness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/CancerlistingFinal.pdf for the full list of covered injuries.
What was in the toxic cloud in lower Manhattan?
The toxic cloud that descended upon lower Manhattan was made up of many dangerous contaminants. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, lower Manhattan was bathed in a toxic stew of chemicals and particulates. Thousands of first responders, workers and others rushed to the scene and many spent hours, days and months breathing the air. The toxic cloud was comprised of asbestos, 91,000 L jet fuel, pulverized building materials, cement dust, dioxin, gypsum and calcite, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), microscopic shards of glass, silica, heavy metals, benzene and other numerous volatile organic compounds.
Is there a deadline to register and file a Zadroga Act claim?
There is still time to apply for compensation if you have been diagnosed with a WTC related cancer or illness. If you were diagnosed with a cancer, the deadline to register with the VCF is two years from the date that the cancer was certified by the WTC Health Program (or “any other governmental agency.”) The two year filing deadline, in most cases, begins to start when you were made aware that the cancer was linked to exposure to the WTC toxins. The families of those who died from WTC-linked cancers or illnesses must register with the VCF within 2 years of the day of death.
I think I might be eligible for compensation, how do I file a claim for compensation?
In order to apply to the WTCF Health Program and/or the VCF, you must fill out application forms and send them to the appropriate authorities, along with the required documents.
Many policies and procedures for evaluating claims under the new law have changed, so it is important to contact an experienced attorney who can properly advise you. Navigating through and completing the VCF application on your own can be confusing and overwhelming.
The VCF on its own website tells potential claimants that “Your attorney is in the best position to let you know exactly what has been submitted to the VCF and when it was submitted, and can update you on any requests the VCF has made for additional information. Your attorney can also confirm whether or not the VCF has issued a decision on your claim and the timing of that decision.” Having a lawyer gives you distinct advantages in submitting, tracking, evaluating and winning your claim. Attorney William Dubanevich knows how important experienced legal representation is in this process. Mr. Dubanevich has been representing 9/11 World Trade Center first responders and rescue and recovery workers from the very beginning.
Our mission is to get the maximum award from the VCF for your illness or the loss of a loved one. Call us for a free consultation. We can help you complete the process correctly to ensure that your rights are protected and to receive the compensation that you are entitled to.
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Articles on World Trade Center Cancer and other Illnesses
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