The Zadroga Act

Zadroga Act Lawyer The September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center were nearly 20 years ago, but emergency personnel, including NYPD officers, firefighters, and emergency medical workers continue to suffer serious illnesses as a result of toxic exposure from the 9/11 attacks.

The first NYPD officer whose death was linked directly to toxic dust exposure during WTC rescue operations was James Zadroga, who succumbed to pulmonary fibrosis in 2006.

What is the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act?

In 2010, the first of two bills were passed, creating the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to provide compensation and medical treatment to people suffering from 9/11-related health problems. Initially funded for only five years, a second bill was passed in 2015, further extending coverage under the Act. In 2019, the bill was renewed again. All claims registered with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund by July 29, 2021 are considered timely, regardless of the date of diagnosis. If you do not register by July 29, 2021, you may still register so long as it is within two years from the date that you knew that your condition was 9/11-related. That will begin to run from the date of your World Trade Center Health Program certification, or when any other federal or state entity informed you that your condition is 9/11-related.

The experienced legal team at Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP has helped 9/11 survivors and first responders get the care and compensation they are entitled to. Contact us today at 212-983-3000 for a free and confidential consultation with a Zadroga Act lawyer.

What Programs are Covered Under the Zadroga Act?

The Zadroga Act includes two separate programs—the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP), which provides health care to 9/11 victims, including emergency workers, and survivors who lived, worked, or studied in the surrounding area on or in the months following September 11th, 2001.

The second program included in the Zadroga Act is the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), which is operated by the U.S. Department of Justice and provides financial compensation for 9/11-related illnesses.

The VCF compensates for economic and non-economic losses as well as survivor benefits for deceased claims. Any individual suffering from a 9/11-related illness may be successful in obtaining financial compensation.

The Requirements for Filing a Zadroga Act Claim

If you or a loved one was present in the New York City Exposure Zone from September 11th, 2001 through May 30, 2002, you may be eligible to receive compensation through the Zadroga Act for any illnesses as a result of your exposure. The Exposure Zone is Lower Manhattan, south of Canal Street and southwest of East Broadway and Clinton Street. This includes:

  • Lower East Side
  • Tribeca
  • SoHo
  • Greenwich Village
  • China Town
  • Bowling Green
  • Battery Park

This is not an all-encompassing list. Here is a detailed map of the New York City Exposure Zone. Those who were present or who lost loved ones at the Shanksville, PA crash site or the Pentagon may also file a claim.

Timeframe Requirements

In addition to proving that you or your loved one was present in the Exposure Zone, you also must provide proof that you were physically present during the period beginning on September 11th, 2001 and ending May 30, 2002.

The VCF and WTCHP require proof of your presence in the New York City Exposure Zone.

With certain exceptions for firefighters and victims who received compensation through the initial September 11th Victim Compensation Fund between 2001 and 2004, victims must submit proof of their physical presence in the Exposure Zone either on 9/11 or in the months following Acceptable forms of proof include:

  • Pay stubs and other employment records
  • Mortgage bill or lease
  • Utility bills
  • School or daycare records
  • Medical records for injuries that occurred at any of the 9/11 sites
  • Witness statements

Medical Condition Requirements

The WTC Health Program covers certain medical conditions that are known to be linked to 9/11 exposure. While you don’t need to prove a direct link between your health problem and 9/11, the WTCHP will evaluate causation based on the duration of your presence in the Exposure Zone, the nature of your work or activities therein, and the date of your diagnosis or first symptoms.

Some of the program’s covered conditions include:

  • Cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, breast, colon, kidney, skin, prostate, reproductive cancers, head and neck cancer, thyroid cancer, pancreatic cancer, and many others;
  • Mesothelioma;
  • Aerodigestive disorders, such as asthma, lung disease, GERD, and sleep apnea;
  • Traumatic brain injuries and other acute traumas; and
  • Musculoskeletal disorders, including back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.

The above list is not exhaustive.

Do I Need a Zadroga Act Attorney to File a Claim?

If you are suffering from a 9/11-related illness, you may be eligible to obtain compensation, including:

  • Out-of-Pocket medical expenses
  • Lost income—past and current
  • Pain and suffering
  • Household services
  • Survivor benefits

Contact the Zadroga Act Lawyers at Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP Today

Attempting to file a legal claim without the help of an experienced Zadroga Act lawyer can lead to unnecessary delays, reduced benefits, and an unsuccessful claim. The skilled legal and experienced team at Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP has helped 9/11 victims obtain the maximum compensation they are entitled to. Contact us today at 212-983-3000 for a free and confidential consultation.

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