Deadline nears for 9/11 health victims
Oct 3 is the last day for most people to register to receive compensation for a 9/11-related health issue, as established by the James Zadroga Health and Compensations Act.
U.S. Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, along with the Victim Compensation Fund (V.C.F. Special Master Shiela Birnbaum gathered Downtown at Silverstein Family Park in front of 7 World Trade Center, on Mon., Sept. 9 to publicize the coming deadline.
“I urge all survivors and responders who may be eligible for the V.C.F. to register by the Oct. 3rd deadline, so that they may get the compensation they deserve,” Nadler said in a prepared statement. “We can never forget those who we lost on 9/11 and we can never stop fighting for those who became ill or continue to suffer since those first fateful days.”
The fund is open to many people Downtown, even those whose health was not significantly impacted at the time — from first responders to area workers, residents and students who lived in Lower Manhattan from Sept. 11, 2001 to May 30, 2002.
For anyone whose health problems surfaced before Oct. 3, 2011, the deadline is almost here. The exception are those with types of cancer that were added to the list of 9/11-related illnesses last year — these patients have an additional year to register with the fund.
Despite registration of over 27,000 people, the response has not been as robust as could be expected compared to the estimated number of people exposed after 9/11, according to Kimberly Flynn of the World Trade Center Health Program’s steering committee and the director of the 9/11 Environmental Action group.
Flynn said the lack of participation might be due to confusion about the application process. She said some people were unaware of the difference between the V.C.F. and two other 9/11-related health systems — the World Trade Center Health Registry and the World Trade Center Health Program.
The W.T.C. Health Registry was established by the city to track health problems in Lower Manhattan caused by the attacks, and is not a treatment or compensation program. The W.T.C. Health Program, on the other hand, provides healthcare for 9/11-related health problems, both physical and mental.