Slater Slater Schulman is representing thousands of clients who qualify for World Trade Center Victim Compensation Fund as authorized by the Zadroga Act.
What is the WTC Victim Compensation Fund?
In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, thousands of victims died and many thousands more suffered health complications related to the terrible events of that day. In addition to those who lost their lives at Ground Zero on September 11, millions of workers, residents, volunteers, tourists, and rescue workers were exposed to toxic dust following the collapse of the Twin Towers. Many of these people have developed serious illnesses.
The Federal Government has authorized and funded compensation through its passing of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Those who may be eligible for compensation include individuals who were caught in the toxic environment on September 11th, as well as those who returned to workplaces, schools, residences, medical centers, and other physical locations. Specifically, compensation may be available to those present in lower Manhattan, for any reason, between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002.
The Zadroga Act
In a good-faith effort to provide health care and monetary compensation to those who suffered physical injury due to their exposure to toxic chemicals resulting from the September 11th attacks, in 2010 the federal government passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (“Zadroga Act”). The Zadroga Act allocated $2.775 billion to a Victim Compensation Fund (“VCF”) to compensate injured individuals—including police and fire personnel, emergency workers, volunteers, local business employees, students and those residing within a demarcated geographical zone—and an additional $1.5 billion to fund medical treatment and monitoring for these injuries through a separate entity—the World Trade Center Health Program (“WTCHP”).
While the original act provided much-needed relief to those affected, it soon became clear that there were numerous additional injuries caused by September 11th exposure that were not contemplated in the initial Zadroga Act; thus, there was no compensation for these viable injuries. In response, in December 2015, Congress authorized additional funds to cover these injuries for a period of five years.
On February 15, 2019, the VCF Special Master, Rupa Bhattacharyya, determined that there was “insufficient funding” to compensate the currently filed claims within the December 20, 2020 deadline. After relentless petitioning in Washington, D.C. and throughout the country by countless advocates, on July 29, 2019, Congress passed H.R. 1327: the “Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act.” This legislation provides full funding for past and future awards until 2090.
What Injuries are Covered?
Individuals in lower Manhattan in the aftermath have been found to have higher rates of contracting serious diseases, including many forms of cancer and breathing difficulties. Many of these illnesses have resulted in deaths. A complete list of covered illnesses and conditions may be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/wtc/conditions.html
Slater Slater Schulman LLP has an entire department dedicated exclusively to the representation of clients, currently comprised who have suffered 9/11-related injuries, including:
- Bladder Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Colon Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- Head and Neck Cancer
- Interstitial Lung Disease
- Kidney Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Lymphoma (Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin)
- Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure
- Multiple Myeloma
- Ovarian Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Rare 9/11 Cancers
- Respiratory Conditions (COPD, Asthma and Sleep Apnea)
- Skin Cancers
- Stomach Cancer
- Thyroid Cancer
- Wrongful Death
Our office assists from the very inception of an individual’s potential claim by initiating personal contact with our client and providing documentation necessary to begin the process with the WTCHP—which will work to certify a 9/11-related injury. Our office will guide the client through the initial process prior to their WTCHP evaluation, which is a necessary prerequisite before being considered for a monetary award through the VCF.
Once an individual is approved by the WTCHP as having a 9/11-related injury, their health care and monitoring for that condition(s) is free for life. Further, this process then allows their claim to move to the next stage: evaluation for compensation through the VCF. Our office will, of course, be available to assist with the process necessary to meet all VCF requirements. By statute, the attorney fee for representation of a 9/11 victim through this program is capped at 10%, and any compensation for the victim is tax-free.
If you or someone you know have suffered an injury that you believe is related to the exposure at the 9/11 site, please feel free to contact our office at (800) 251-6990 or by email at WTC@sssfirm.com. All discussions are held in the strictest confidence and will be handled by a team well-versed in the WTCHP and VCF process.
Slater Slater Schulman Can Help You Register for the World Trade Center Victim Compensation Fund
Those affected have a limited time to file for compensation. There are important deadlines for which you will need to register or risk losing your ability to qualify for Fund compensation. A list of these deadlines may be found here: https://www.vcf.gov/pdf/RegisterChart.pdf
We are encouraging those affected to register themselves or contact us to do so for you as soon as you become aware of your diagnosis and/or as soon as you are aware that you may have a claim. Contact us today at (212) 922-0906 or WTC@sssfirm.com and we will help you navigate this process. All consultations are without charge.