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Are You Eligible for 9/11 Victim Compensation?

It has now been over two decades since the devastating attack on the World Trade Center (WTC). After the attack, people came from all over the country to help, and locals were encouraged to return to their homes and offices within days of the area having been secured. Everyone involved was already suffering from the aftermath of the September 11th attack and came together anyway to help others get their lives back on track.

Are You Eligible for 9/11 Victim Compensation?

At the time, first responders and local residents alike were reassured repeatedly by politicians that it was safe to breathe the air and drink the water in the area surrounding Ground Zero, even as experts warned that it was not true. Rather than appearing immediately, doctors and scientists expected the physical effects of exposure to the Twin Towers wreckage to show up years, or even decades, later. Unfortunately, they were right.,

The Reopening of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund

Initially, the federal 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) was established to provide compensation for people who were injured or lost loved ones in the attack. Unfortunately, the fund closed in 2003 before many victims began to develop related health conditions. Now, the VCF has been reopened so that those eligible for 9/11 victim compensation can once again get the help they need to treat resultant medical conditions and find a way to move on.

The Never Forget the Heroes Act

The Never Forget the Heroes Act was signed into law on July 29, 2019, to offer permanent authorization to the 9/11 VCF. In recognition of the fact that many of the victims of the attack are only now beginning to realize the devastating impact it had on their health, the VCF Permanent Authorization Act extended the claim filing deadline before its expiration on December 18, 2020, to October 1, 2090. The Never Forget the Heroes Act also fully funded the VCF.

Eligibility Requirements

The VCF provided compensation to first responders and victims of the 9/11 attack, and now it can also be used to cover medical care for long-term conditions.  Examples of people who might qualify for 9/11 victim’s compensation include:

  •  FDNY responders

WTC general responders

WTC survivors

Pentagon and Shanksville responders

People who can prove that they spent two hours or more in the exposure zone may be eligible to receive compensation for disabling conditions related to the attack. Common health problems related to toxin exposure following the 9/11 attacks include chronic breathing problems and cancer.

Other conditions related to WTC exposure such as aerodigestive disorders, sleep apnea, and certain mental health problems fall under the purview of the WTC Health Program instead. It is a separate program that offers medical monitoring and treatment to both responders and survivors rather than financial compensation.

The Registration Deadlines

Enrolling in the WTC Health Program does not automatically register participants in the VCF. The registration deadlines are different for everyone. People who filed claims before July 29, 2021, have already met their registration deadlines. Others are required to register with the VCF within two years of being notified by a government entity that a physical health problem is related to WTC exposure. People don’t need to be sick already to register for the VCF.

Get Legal Help

Not sure how to register or file a claim? It may be time to consult an attorney who can help. Choose a law firm that specializes in providing legal assistance to 9/11 victims and responders and reach out as soon as possible.

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