Recent changes in eligibility requirements to the World Trade Center Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) may now qualify any victim of a WTC-related illness or cancer who was previously denied or missed deadlines to file.  Regardless of the reason why you were denied compensation or why you did not file a claim in the past, know that you may now qualify.

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Potentially thousands of now-eligible claimants have been previously denied claims or did not file claims at all as the original VCF was open only to first responders who were present at the time of the attacks or immediately thereafter.  It also specified the victim must have sought medical treatment within 72 hours and excluded claimants injured during recovery and clean-up efforts.

The fund allows for both economic and non-economic losses including lost wages and benefits, losses due to death, burial costs, loss of business or employment opportunities, medical expenses, physical and emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of society and companionship, loss of consortium, hedonic damages, injury to reputation, and more.

 

ELIGIBLE CLAIMANTS

New, expanded eligibility requirements define an eligible claimant as “any individual (or personal representative of a deceased individual) who suffered physical harm or was killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, or the rescue and recovery efforts during the immediate aftermath of such crashes or the debris removal efforts that took place in the immediate aftermath of those crashes.”

This means that no area residents, office workers, business owners, students, clean-up and construction workers, rescue and recovery workers, as well as first responders, are potentially eligible for claims if they have been diagnosed with a qualifying illness or cancer and were present within a specified period of time, within specified geographical locations.  If you were told you did not qualify for any reason in the past or did not file a claim because the fund was simply not open to you, we may be able to help.

 

ALLOWED TIMEFRAME

New regulation changes apply to anyone who spent enough time to suffer ill effects below Canal Street between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002.

“Immediate aftermath” has been redefined as “any period beginning with the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, and ending on May 30, 2002.”

 

CRASH SITE DEFINITION

Changes to prior VCF regulations now widely expand the geographical areas allowed for purposes of claim eligibility. Originally, the VCF required that the claimant was present at either the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, or in Shanksville, PA.  Now, it includes surrounding areas and buildings that were not considered qualifying before.  The updated regulation also includes the routes used for debris removals such as barges and Fresh Kill landfills on Staten Island.  The specific designation of debris removal is intended to include anyone who was injured from work outside the main specified areas related to the attack.

The crash site definition is now:

“(1) The World Trade Center site, Pentagon site, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania site; or

(2) The buildings or portions of buildings that were destroyed as a result of the terrorist-related airplane crashes of September 11, 2001; or

(3) The area in Manhattan that is south of the line that runs along 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

(4) Any area related to, or along, routes of debris removal, such as barges and Fresh Kills.”

 

EXPANDED LIST OF WTC-RELATED CANCERS AND ILLNESSES

Many new cancers and illnesses have been added to VCF eligible diagnoses and some even based on individual circumstances.   We believe that it is possible that even more illnesses will be added later than not only does the WTC Administrator have the ability to add additional diagnoses, but has the duty to investigate and seek comments regarding particular, petitioned-for diseases.

Already in rare instances, exceptions have been made to include cancers outside the current list.

Aggravation of pre-existing injuries is allowed under VCF regulations to the extent the condition was made worse.

Please note that currently, the VCF is not offering compensation for PTSD symptoms or psychological needs, however, treatment options are available through the WTC Health program.  We encourage anyone to seek mental health services related to the attack to call WTC Health at 888-982-4748 or our office for more information.

List of currently covered health conditions:

The VCF is intended for victims who suffered a “physical injury to the body”, who was present at the site, within the specified time frame.  In general, physical health conditions currently covered are:

  • Acute Traumatic Injuries
  • Aerodigestive Disorders
  • Blood Cancers, Lymphoid Cancers
  • Bone Cancers
  • Breast Cancers
  • Childhood Cancers – defined as “any type of cancer diagnosed in a person less than 20 years of age.”
  • Digestive System Cancers
  • Eye and Orbit Cancers
  • Head and Neck Cancers
  • Interstitial Lung Disease
  • Mesothelioma and Asbestos Related Diseases
  • Rare Cancers – defined as “any type of cancer that occurs in less than 15 cases per 100,000 persons per year in the United States.”
  • Female Reproductive Organ Cancers
  • Male Reproductive Organ Cancers
  • Respiratory Cancers
  • Skin Cancer
  • Soft Tissue Cancers
  • Thyroid Cancers
  • Urinary System Cancers

Additionally, the VCF states “individuals who have been diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness that is not currently on the list of eligible conditions should periodically check the WTC Health Program website at http://www.cdc.gov/wtc/conditions.html to see if the condition is added to the list. If the condition is added to the list of eligible conditions in the future, claimants must register the claim within two years after the date on which the condition was added to the list or the Registration Start Date (whichever is later), but no later than December 18, 2020.”

 

FAQ

Is the VCF just for first responders?

No.  It is now open to anyone who was present within designated areas, over an 8.5-month period of time and diagnosed with certain illnesses or injuries.  Whether you lived or worked in the area, assisted in clean-up, were a student, etc., no longer makes difference ineligibility as to who may qualify for a claim.

Will other illnesses be added later to the current list of allowed diagnoses?

More than likely, yes. The fund allows for petitioning of particular diseases to the WTC Administrator, who in turn has the duty to investigate and seek comments.

Am I eligible for a claim if my pre-existing illness was made worse after the attack?

If you were working or living within the defined areas within the 8.5-month time frame specified by the VCF, you may be eligible for a claim as regulations specifically address compensation for aggravation of pre-existing injuries to the extent the injury became worse.

Are mental health conditions considered eligible for a VCF claim?

The statutory language in the VCF limits coverage to victims who suffered “physical injury to the body” only.  However, there are treatment options available through the WTC Health Program.  We encourage anyone to seek mental health services related to the attacks call WTC Health at 888-982-4748.

Eligible Claimants

New, expanded eligibility requirements define an eligible claimant as “any individual (or personal representative of a deceased individual) who suffered physical harm or was killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, or the rescue and recovery efforts during the immediate aftermath of such crashes or the debris removal efforts that took place in the immediate aftermath of those crashes.”

This means that now area residents, office workers, business owners, students, clean-up and construction workers, rescue and recovery workers as well as first responders are potentially eligible for claims if they have been diagnosed with a qualifying illness or cancer and were present within a specified period of time, within specified geographical locations.  If you were told you did not qualify for any reason in the past or did not file a claim because the fund was simply not open to you, we may be able to help.

 

Allowed Timeframe

New regulation changes apply to anyone who spent enough time to suffer ill effects below Canal Street between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002.

“Immediate aftermath” has been redefined as “any period beginning with the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, and ending on May 30, 2002.”

 

Get a free case review
We are standing by 24/7, waiting to assist you.

 

Crash Site Definition

Changes to prior VCF regulations now widely expand the geographical areas allowed for purposes of claim eligibility. Originally, the VCF required that the claimant was present at either the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, or in Shanksville, PA.  Now, it includes surrounding areas and buildings that were not considered qualifying before.  The updated regulation also includes the routes used for debris removal such as barges and Fresh Kill landfill on Staten Island.  The specific designation of debris removal is intended to include anyone who was injured from work outside of the main specified areas related to the attack.

The crash site definition is now:

“(1) The World Trade Center site, Pentagon site, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania site; or

(2) The buildings or portions of buildings that were destroyed as a result of the terrorist-related airplane crashes of September 11, 2001; or

(3) The area in Manhattan that is south of the line that runs along 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

(4) Any area related to, or along, routes of debris removal, such as barges and Fresh Kills.”

 

Expanded List of WTC-Related Cancers and Illnesses

Many new cancers and illnesses have been added to VCF eligible diagnoses and some even based on individual circumstances.   We believe that it is possible that even more illnesses will be added later as not only does the WTC Administrator have the ability to add additional diagnoses, but has the duty to investigate and seek comments regarding particular, petitioned-for diseases.

Already in rare instances, exceptions have been made to include cancers outside of the current list.

Aggravation of pre-existing injuries are allowed under VCF regulations to the extent the condition was made worse.

Please note that currently the VCF is not offering compensation for PTSD symptoms or psychological needs, however, treatment options are available through the WTC Health program.  We encourage anyone seeking mental health services related to the attack to call WTC Health at 888-982-4748 or our office for more information.

List of currently covered health conditions:

The VCF is intended for victims who suffered a “physical injury to the body”, who were present at the site, within the specified time frame.  In general, physical health conditions currently covered are:

  • Acute Traumatic Injuries
  • Aerodigestive Disorders
  • Blood Cancers, Lymphoid Cancers
  • Bone Cancers
  • Breast Cancers
  • Childhood Cancers – defined as “any type of cancer diagnosed in a person less than 20 years of age.”
  • Digestive System Cancers
  • Eye and Orbit Cancers
  • Head and Neck Cancers
  • Interstitial Lung Disease
  • Mesothelioma and Asbestos Related Diseases
  • Rare Cancers – defined as “any type of cancer that occurs in less than 15 cases per 100,000 persons per year in the United States.”
  • Female Reproductive Organ Cancers
  • Male Reproductive Organ Cancers
  • Respiratory Cancers
  • Skin Cancer
  • Soft Tissue Cancers
  • Thyroid Cancers
  • Urinary System Cancers

Additionally, the VCF states “individuals who have been diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness that is not currently on the list of eligible conditions should periodically check the WTC Health Program website at http://www.cdc.gov/wtc/conditions.html to see if the condition is added to the list. If the condition is added to the list of eligible conditions in the future, claimants must register the claim within two years after the date on which the condition was added to the list or the Registration Start Date (whichever is later), but no later than December 18, 2020.”

 

FAQ

Is the VCF just for first responders?

No.  It is now open to anyone who was present within designated areas, over an 8.5 month period of time and diagnosed with certain illnesses or injuries.  Whether you lived or worked in the area, assisted in clean-up, were a student, etc., no longer makes a difference in eligibility as to who may qualify for a claim.

Will other illnesses be added later to the current list of allowed diagnoses?

More than likely, yes. The fund allows for petitioning of particular diseases to the WTC Administrator, who in turn has the duty to investigate and seek comments.

Am I eligible for a claim if my pre-existing illness was made worse after the attack?

If you were working or living within the defined areas within the 8.5 month time frame specified by the VCF, you may be eligible for a claim as regulations specifically address compensation for aggravation of pre-existing injuries to the extent the injury became worse.

Are mental health conditions considered eligible for a VCF claim?

Statutory language in the VCF limits coverage to victims who suffered “physical injury to the body” only.  However, there are treatment options available through the WTC Health Program.  We encourage anyone seeking mental health services related to the attacks call WTC Health at 888-982-4748.