9/11 Related Illnesses Covered By The VCF & World Trade Center Health Program

The individuals who were present on or after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City, Shanksville, PA, and the Pentagon, were exposed to toxic substances in the air following the attacks of September 11th.

9/11 responders as well as students, residents, and workers in Lower Manhattan, who were present below Canal Street between September 11th, 2001 and May 30th, 2002, may be eligible for substantial compensation for a 9/11 related illnesses.

At Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP, our highly experienced and dedicated 9/11 lawyers are committed to helping 9/11 victims get the health care and financial compensation they deserve. Contact us today at 212-983-3000 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

The World Trade Center Health Program and September 11th Victim Compensation Fund

Years after 9/11, the number of victims continues to rise. Cancer and aerodigestive disorders have been linked to exposure to the 9/11 disaster area. The former September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was established in 2001 to provide financial assistance to these individuals, but it ended in 2004. However, people continue to become ill with cancer decades later.

In response, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (Zadroga Act), named for the first NYPD officer to die of a 9/11-related condition, was established in 2010 to provide quality health care and financial compensation to victims and their families.

Under the Zadroga Act, the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) and September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) provide compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, survivor benefits, and out of pocket expenses. A VCF attorney can help you determine your eligibility for these programs and file a claim to obtain the health care and compensation you deserve if you are suffering from a 9/11 related illness.

What Illnesses are Covered by the 911 Fund?

To receive compensation through the VCF, your illness must be certified by the WTCHP as a WTC-related health condition. In some cases, conditions not included on the list of certified illnesses may be eligible as an associated condition. It is in your best interest to consult with an experienced VCF lawyer to determine if you are eligible for compensation and to ensure that you obtain the maximum award possible.

Some of the illnesses and injuries certified by the WTCHP include:

Acute Traumatic Injuries

Serious, debilitating injuries related to the 9/11 attacks, or that occurred during rescue operations or clean up, are eligible for VCF compensation. Examples of acute traumatic injuries include traumatic brain injuries, burns, fractures, and injuries to the eyes.

Aerodigestive Disorders

Disorders affecting the airway and digestive system, known as aerodigestive orders, are common in people exposed to toxic dust following the 9/11 attacks. Some examples include asthma, sleep apnea, chronic respiratory disorder, and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disorder).


There is a much higher rate of cancer among individuals who were exposed to the toxic dust following the 9/11 attacks than in the general population. Some examples of the types of cancers that are eligible for VCF compensation include but are not limited to:

Mental Health Conditions

Several mental health conditions suffered by individuals who were present at any of the 9/11 crash sites are considered 9/11 related illnesses and are eligible for medical treatment. These include anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse.

What Toxins Were in The Air and Smoke at Ground Zero?

When the World Trade Center towers collapsed on September 11, 2001, the resulting mix of toxic and irritating substances remained in Lower Manhattan for months.

The combination of jet fuel and millions of tons of building materials created a mixture of smoke and dust containing dioxins, asbestos, lead, cement, gypsum, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), benzene, chromium, and glass fibers.

PCBs are extremely dangerous to human health and become even more so at high temperatures. The levels of toxic dioxins measured near Ground Zero “were the highest ambient measurements of dioxin ever recorded anywhere in the world.”

It’s important to note that the health problems caused by this toxic dust affected hundreds of thousands of people. In fact, the New England Journal of Medicine dubbed the cough that seemed to afflict so many survivors and first responders the “World Trade Center cough,” which is estimated to have affected almost half of those present.

Contact Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP Today

If you are suffering from any of the 9/11 related illnesses mentioned above and were present in the Lower Manhattan Exposure Zone or one of the other crash sites, the skilled legal team at Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP can help.

Our experienced 9/11 Fund lawyers will thoroughly review your case to determine your eligibility for VCF compensation. If you are eligible, we will present your case so that you get the maximum compensation available to you in a timely manner. Make sure you get what you’re entitled to by contacting Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP today at 212-983-3000 for a free and confidential consultation about your VCF 9/11 illness claim.

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