The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP)

WTC Lawyers & World Trade Center Health Program Following the devastating terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, countless first responders and people living, working, and studying near Ground Zero were afflicted with various debilitating and deadly illnesses. The primary cause of these illnesses was the toxic dust cloud that permeated Lower Manhattan immediately after the attacks, and for months after.

The mixture of carcinogenic and otherwise noxious substances, including asbestos, lead, benzene, PCBs, chromium, and glass particles, was inhaled by tens-of-thousands of people in what is now referred to as the “Exposure Zone.”

What is the World Trade Center Health Program?

In 2010, the James Zadroga Health and Compensation Act was established to provide medical treatment and compensation to 9/11 survivors. Named for the first NYPD officer to succumb to a 9/11-related illness, the Zadroga Act is comprised of two parts—the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP), which covers related medical care, and the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), which provides compensation for lost income, emotional pain and suffering, and other associated damages.

The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) was established by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (the Zadroga Act) to provide medical treatment to 9/11 survivors.

The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund is a completely separate program from the World Trade Center Health Program and is run by a different federal agency – the Department of Justice for the VCF and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the World Trade Center Health Program. The VCF now requires that all survivor claimants be certified by the World Trade Center Health Program, with limited exceptions.

How does the WTCHP Work?

The WTCHP has several Clinical Centers of Excellence (CCE) located throughout the New York Tri-state area. Victims outside the NYC metro area can obtain medical care through the Nationwide Provider Network (NPN). Once enrolled, the patient will visit a CCE or NPN provider for an initial health evaluation and the establishment of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Who is Eligible for the WTCHP?

Any individual who was the first responder at one of the 9/11 sites, including NYC, the Pentagon, and the Shanksville, PA crash site, and victims who were in those disaster areas on or shortly after 9/11 may be eligible for medical benefits through the WTCHP.

Eligibility is further determined by an individual’s ability to show that they were present at one of these sites and that they are suffering from a medical condition certified by the WTCHP.

The list of certified conditions is extensive, but the most common include:

  • Acute traumatic injuries, such as brain or eye injuries;
  • Aerodigestive disorders;
  • Musculoskeletal conditions;
  • Cancers;
  • Mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How to Apply for the WTCHP

It is in your best interest to work with an experienced WTCHP lawyer if you wish to apply for WTCHP benefits. The process can be difficult, but the help of a WTC attorney can ensure that your application is submitted accurately. Your application must include documentation of your status as a 9/11 survivor or first responder.

The following documentation may be used:

  • Proof of home, work, or school address during or shortly after September 11th, 2001;
  • Proof that you were present during the 9/11 dust cloud;
  • Proof that you worked as a first responder, volunteer, or in 9/11 clean up efforts; and
  • Proof of the duration of time you were at the eligible location.

Your application must also show that you are suffering from a WTCHP-certified health condition. In addition to WTCHP benefits, you may be entitled to compensation for lost income, emotional pain and suffering, and other related costs.

Contact Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP Today

At Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP, our highly-skilled WTC attorneys will guide you through the certification process, ensuring that your application is submitted accurately. The process can be confusing, and even minor errors can result in delayed or denied benefits. It is our goal to help you obtain timely access to the free medical care, health screenings, and compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 212-983-3000 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

Go to Top