Truck drivers were one of the primary responders at all three disaster sites on September 11th, 2001, and in the days, weeks, and months that followed. From cleanup efforts to supply transportation, truck drivers were heavily involved in rescue, recovery, demolition, and all other efforts to help the affected communities handle one of our nation’s greatest recent tragedies.
Truck drivers who worked or volunteered as responders at the World Trade Center area in NYC, the Pentagon, or the Shanksville, PA crash site, who have been diagnosed with a 9/11 illness or injury, may obtain quality health care and financial compensation. To be eligible, truck drivers must have worked a minimum of one day at one of the disaster sites. These individuals should seek immediate legal counsel from a 9/11 illness attorney who can review their case and help them determine how to proceed.
VCF Compensation and WTCHP Medical Care Available to 9/11 Truck Drivers
In 2010, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was passed in honor of the first NYPD officer to die of a 9/11-related illness. The Act resulted in the creation of two separate programs, the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). The WTCHP provides quality medical care to victims of 9/11 illnesses, while the VCF provides financial compensation for damages suffered due to these illnesses.
Any truck driver who was present at one of the disaster sites for at least one day, and who is now suffering from a qualifying medical condition, may be able to obtain benefits through the WTCHP and compensation through the VCF.
As part of the WTCHP, qualifying truck drivers will receive annual health monitoring to help manage or detect 9/11 illnesses and quality medical and mental health treatment for any 9/11 illness or injury. Furthermore, truck drivers diagnosed with a 9/11 illness or injury are eligible to apply for financial compensation through the VCF. This compensation may cover lost income, emotional pain and suffering, and other damages suffered due to the qualifying medical condition.
Ground Zero Truck Drivers With 9/11 Related Illnesses Can Receive Compensation & Care
To qualify for medical treatment and VCF compensation, a truck driver must be diagnosed with a condition certified by the WTCHP as a 9/11 illness or injury. The list of qualifying conditions is extensive and includes everything from asthma to substance abuse. Some of the most common illnesses and injuries include:
- Aerodigestive disorders, such as asthma, sleep apnea, and GERD;
- 68 different types of cancer;
- Mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse; and
- Acute traumatic injuries, including fractures, burns, and brain injuries.
The list above is far from exhaustive. Here is the complete list of WTCHP-certified health conditions and injuries. It’s also important to note that even individuals whose medical condition isn’t specifically listed as a WTCHP-certified illness or injury may be eligible for benefits if the condition is associated with a covered illness or injury. A VCF attorney can help 9/11 truck drivers evaluate their claim and determine how to proceed.
Truck Drivers Present In The 9/11 Exposure Zone
When the towers fell and the planes crashed into the Pentagon and the field in Shanksville, PA, a cloud of toxic dust quickly permeated the air. This dust, which was readily inhaled by those in the area, contained all types of carcinogenic substances, including lead, asbestos, benzene, and PCBs. In NYC, elevated levels of these substances remained in the air for up to eight months.
Truck drivers who can show proof of presence in one of the designated exposure zones may be eligible for annual health monitoring, quality medical care, and financial compensation for any damages suffered.
In NYC, the exposure zone is comprised of lower Manhattan south of Canal Street from the Hudson River to the intersection of Canal Street and East Broadway, north on East Broadway to Clinton Street, and east on Clinton Street to the East River. Depending on the diagnosis, there may be additional exposure requirements related to the timeframe.
How To Apply For VCF Compensation and WTCHP Benefits
Truck drivers who wish to apply for benefits through the WTCHP and VCF must provide supporting documentation showing that they satisfy eligibility requirements, such as Proof of Presence at one of the qualifying areas during the designated timeframe. Work documents, including pay stubs, work orders, personnel rosters, or a letter from the employer or former employer may be used.
To obtain VCF compensation, truck drivers will first need to be certified by the WTCHP for an eligible medical condition. Once this has occurred, the individual can then register with the VCF and file a claim, inclusive of all required supporting documentation.
Even 9/11 truck drivers who are not currently exhibiting symptoms of a qualifying illness or injury should register with the VCF, as doing so preserves their right to file a timely claim. Registration must be completed by July 29th, 2021, in order to guarantee that all future claims are considered to be timely. A 9/11 fund lawyer can help truck drivers determine eligibility, gather supporting documentation, and file a timely claim to obtain the maximum available compensation.
Contact Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP Today
At Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP, our highly knowledgeable 9/11 attorneys have helped 9/11 truck drivers obtain quality health care and financial compensation through the VCF and WTCHP. Don’t attempt to navigate this complicated process without the help of thorough, dedicated legal counsel; even minor application errors can result in delayed, reduced, or denied benefits. We will submit a medically-supported optional impact statement to the VCF on the victim’s behalf, so that they have access to the maximum compensation available. Call Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP today at 212-983-3000 for a free and confidential consultation.