9/11 Uterine Cancer Claim

Uterine Cancer eligible for coverage under the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund

In an important shift that opens access to crucial monitoring, screening and treatment for hundreds of people still suffering health effects more than twenty years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) finally recognizes all types of uterine cancer, including endometrial cancer, among the conditions eligible for WTCHP and Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) benefits. This new inclusion, effective as of January 18th, 2023, comes after years of efforts by coalitions of advocates, survivors and lawmakers to expand the scope of the WTCHP. Previously, uterine cancer was the sole type of cancer excluded from the program—despite plenty of scientific evidence linking the condition to toxic exposure in the 9/11 aftermath and nearly 300 victims having already been diagnosed with cancers of the uterus and/or endometrium.

Women and people with uteruses who were present at or near Ground Zero between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002 and later developed uterine/endometrial cancer or symptoms thereof now have a clear path toward obtaining critical, cost-free medical care and screening through WTCHP, as well as personal injury compensation (or survivor benefits) under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

Why Is Uterine Cancer Only Now Being Included As a WTC-Related Health Condition?

In May 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its official proposal recommending the addition of uterine cancer to the existing List of more than 60 cancers eligible for WTC Health Program coverage. But several requests had been submitted over the years since the List was initially expanded in 2012, including those by WTC responders and survivors, and one cosigned by several directors of the WTC Health Program’s Clinical Centers of Excellence (CCEs). These requests eventually triggered an official review by the WTCHP’s Science Team and culminated in publication of a September 2021 whitepaper that found clear evidence of a correlation between toxic exposures in the 9/11 aftermath and developing uterine or endometrial cancer.

It may seem preposterous that it took so long to add uterine cancer to the List, especially considering it remained, until 2023, the only type of cancer not covered by the WTCHP. According to the program’s Administrator, one reason is the low representation of women and people with uteruses in first responder-type occupations following the 9/11 attacks. In recognition of this oversight, on the eve of the emended List going into effect, current WTC Health Program Administrator John Howard, M.D. stated, “a critical gap in coverage for women in the Program has been eliminated. All types of cancer, if determined to be related to 9/11 exposures, are now covered by the World Trade Center Health Program, providing women equal access to the treatment they deserve.”

Who Is Eligible For Uterine Cancer Coverage Under WTCHP?

WTC Health Program enrollment is available to anyone who served as a Responder to the September 11th attacks, whether at the World Trade Center in New York City, or at the sites at the U.S. Pentagon or in Shanksville, PA. The Program is also available to Survivors of the attacks in NYC—those who resided, worked, or attended school or day care in Lower Manhattan on or after 9/11, as well as anyone present in the dust or dust cloud on the day of the attack. The CDC provides a detailed breakdown of the eligible groups entitled to free medical care, treatment, screening and monitoring, as well as the documentation needed when applying.

Nearly 27,000 women are among the more than 121,000 Responders and Survivors currently enrolled in WTCHP. With uterine cancer now finally on the List of Covered Conditions, those already enrolled can obtain screening and treatment for it immediately from their CCE or consult the Nationwide Provider Network, while others with symptoms or who have already been diagnosed should apply for enrollment in the Program as soon as possible. Those with questions or concerns about eligibility should contact a 9/11 attorney for help getting coverage.

Coverage For Medical Costs Incurred Before January 18th, 2023

The WTC Health Program includes no provisions to cover healthcare-related costs for conditions not on the List. What’s more, there is no option under the Program for reimbursement of past out-of-pocket expenses for treatment if the condition is added at a later date. Many people diagnosed with uterine cancer due to 9/11 toxic exposures prior to its recognition as a covered condition have had to shoulder these expenses for years and are in dire need of financial relief.

Fortunately, reimbursement is available through the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which is administered by the Department of Justice, entirely separate from the CDC-run WTC Health Program. Since 2020, the Fund has reimbursed for past out-of-pocket costs for eligible conditions that were incurred before the date that the WTCHP added those conditions to their List.

The process for claiming past medical expenses under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund involves filing a personal injury claim and providing extensive documentation, including demonstrating the history of the condition and its diagnosis and evidence of previous out-of-pocket payment. The requirements are strict and complicated, and can lengthen an entire September 11th Victim Compensation Fund claim’s timeline significantly, so it is enormously beneficial to work with a qualified 9/11 injury lawyer throughout the process to avoid critical mistakes that could jeopardize the application’s acceptance. 

Reach Out To An WTC Health Program Attorney For Help Obtaining Uterine Cancer Medical Care And Compensation

With uterine and endometrial cancer now officially recognized as 9/11-related health conditions, women and people with uteruses who have been suffering for years or who may still develop these cancers in the future due to toxic exposure no longer have to worry that they might be excluded from vital benefits.

At Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP, our experienced team of New York attorneys support 9/11 Responders and Survivors in efforts to obtain the full benefits to which they are entitled. For answers to questions about eligibility for uterine cancer care under the WTC Health Program, reimbursement under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, or other issues, call 212-983-3000 or contact our law firm online and schedule a free consultation today. 

Learn more about benefits you may be entitled to for 9/11 uterine cancer

Although uterine/endometrial cancer has not been added to the list of certified medical conditions, it is worth finding out what medical and financial benefits you may be able to receive. While awaiting a final ruling by the WTC Health Program administrator, the attorneys at Weisfuse &Weisfuse, LLP can help by discussing your options and answering your questions. To schedule a no-cost consultation to learn more about how we may be able to help you get the benefits you deserve, contact us online or call us at 332-239-2238.

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