After years of intense lobbying and debate in Washington, Congress has extended vital protection to victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks by passing the Zadroga Reauthorization Act.
The Zadroga Reauthorization Act
serves two important functions. First, it provides full funding for the World Trade Center Health Program for another 75 years. This means that the program essentially becomes permanent for anyone who is currently or who will become ill as a result of exposure to toxic substances at Ground Zero.
The act also fully funds all current and future claims to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund until it closes in 2021. Individuals may be eligible for compensation from the fund if they are diagnosed with a qualifying injury or illness. Claimants receiving award letters should receive their compensation within a few months of getting their award letter.
The act also stipulates that claims are not resolved until the compensation fund closes. Individuals receiving an award may be eligible for additional compensation if they experience a chance in personal circumstances or are diagnosed with a new eligible injury or illness.
• A person with a pending claim can supplement their claim for a higher amount if they are diagnosed with a new illness.
• Individuals with no previous claims can still file a claim if they are diagnosed with a new eligible illness.
• A person can bring a claim for a new illness even if they have already received an award for another illness.
• An individual who can no longer work as a result of a new or existing eligible illness can submit a claim for lost wages even if they have already received an award for the illness.
• The surviving family of a person who dies as the result of an eligible illness can receive compensation even though there was a previous award for the illness.
If you or a loved one is ill or may become ill as a result of toxic exposure at Ground Zero, it is important to enroll in the World Trade Center Health Program as soon as possible. The program offers free health care and is the easiest way to have injuries certified for compensation.