About the Programs
September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, or VCF, was reopened for five years by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 and provided with 2.7 billion dollars in funding. It provides financial compensation for injured and ill 9/11 responders, survivors and the families of those that have died since 9/11 from exposures to toxins at Ground Zero. The program was reauthorized by Congress in 2015 for an additional five years, till 2020, with an additional 4.6 billion dollars in funding to allow for fully compensating those injured and ill.
These individuals may apply for compensation for economic and non-economic (pain and suffering) losses stemming from their physical injuries or illnesses. This can include reimbursement for some medical expenses and or lost income.
For those 9/11 responders or survivors who were diagnosed with a 9/11 injury prior to 2011, October 3rd, 2013 was the deadline to complete and submit a registration form to meet the VCF’s filing requirements.
The deadline for Responders and Survivors who had learned they had a World Trade Center Health Program covered condition after October 3rd, 2013 is two years from the date they first learned they had the condition.
For example, if a 9/11 responder or survivor is diagnosed with a covered 9/11 condition, such as a cancer in 2016, they would have two years from the date of the diagnosis to register and begin the claims process.
You can find information on VCF deadlines here.
All injured and ill 9/11 Responders and 9/11 Survivors and their families should learn about their rights, to make sure they understand the deadlines and do not miss a required filing.
Participating in the WTC Registry or receiving health care or medical monitoring in the WTC Health Program does NOT mean that you have met the deadline requirements for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). For more information visit: http://www.vcf.gov
The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program
The World Trade Center Health Program (WTC Health Program) was established by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. The program provides medical monitoring, medical and mental health treatment for covered 9/11 conditions for responders, workers and volunteers who helped with rescue, recovery, and cleanup at the World Trade Center and related sites in New York City.
It also provides medical treatment for covered 9/11 conditions for 9/11 survivors who were in the New York City disaster area, lived, worked, or were in school in the area.
Here is the list of covered conditions.
Responders to the Pentagon and the Shanksville, PA crash site are also eligible for medical monitoring and medical treatment for covered 9/11 conditions by the WTC Health Program.
Here is information on the eligibility requirements for the program.
As part of the reauthorization of the Zadroga law in 2015, the WTC Health Program was made permanent.
Enrolling in and participating in the WTC Health Program does NOT mean that you are enrolled in the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). In order to enroll in the program and obtain services you have to meet eligibility criteria
There are five components of the WTC Health Programs:
- For Responders: Responder Consortium
- Survivors: NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation WTC Environmental Health Center.
- For NYFD Personnel: The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) Responder Health Program.
- For Responders and Survivors who are outside the New York Metropolitan area: Nationwide Provider Network (NPN) has a nationwide network of clinics with providers across the country. For information about the nationwide provider network call 1-888-982-4748.
- For Pentagon and the Shanksville, PA Responders: http://www.cdc.gov/wtc/pentagon.html
There is no deadline for joining the World Trade Center Health Program.
If you are a 9/11 Responder or Survivor you can contact 1-888-982-4748 FREE or go to http://www.cdc.gov/wtc/ for more information and details.
The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Registry
The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Registry was established in 2002 to monitor the health of people directly exposed to the WTC disaster—responders and survivors of 9/11, including those who lived, worked, or went to school in the area of the disaster or were involved in rescue, clean up and recovery efforts.
Enrollees completed a confidential health survey and are asked to complete follow up surveys every few years so that the Registry can track post-disaster changes in their physical and mental health.
Survey findings are published periodically in medical journals. The WTC Registry does NOT conduct medical tests and is NOT a treatment program. The enrollment in the registry is closed. They are not accepting anyone else to be in the study. Being enrolled in the Registry does NOT mean that you are enrolled in the WTC Health Program or the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). For more information visit: www.nyc.gov/doh/wtc/html/registry/about.shtml.
New York State Programs
New York Workers’ Compensation
Normally, workers who are injured or made ill on the job must file a claim with the N.Y.S. Workers Compensation Board within two years of sustaining a workplace injury or illness. Since 9/11 -related health conditions may not develop for many years, the New York State Legislature has amended the law twice to extend that deadline for 9/11 responders.
For more information you can go to the New York State Workers Compensation Board website.
Having filed with the New York State Workers Compensation Board does not mean you have registered for the federal program the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). You MUST still register for the VCF if you want to be considered for compensation by that program.
Line of Duty Injury
Line of Duty Injury (LODI) benefits enable active-duty FDNY, NYPD, DOC and DSNY employees to get free treatment for illnesses and injuries arising out of participation in WTC operations. LODI benefits end when the uniformed member retires. More information about LODI benefits, including death benefits, is available from each department’s medical division or the worker’s union.
Disability and Death
The New York State Legislature has enacted the World Trade Center (WTC) Disability Law. The law establishes a presumption that certain illnesses for certain New York City and State employees were caused by rescue, recovery or cleanup operations at the WTC and, if disabling, entitle the employee to accidental disability retirement benefits. For more information for City Employees, visit: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/wtc/html/employees/workcomp.shtml#top
The World Trade Center Volunteer Fund
The World Trade Center Volunteer Fund (WTC Volunteer Fund) was originally established by a 2001 Congressional appropriation of $50 million dollars for reimbursement of claims related to the first response emergency services personnel who were injured, disabled, or died due to the terrorist attacks.
It is administered by the NYS Workers Compensation Board. While volunteers normally are not covered by workers’ compensation, the WTC Volunteer Fund provides traditional workers’ compensation benefits to volunteers who helped with the rescue, recovery and cleanup efforts at the World Trade Center and related sites in New York City. The WTC Volunteer Fund pays for biweekly indemnity (cash) benefits and health care services, and has the administrative flexibility to respond to the unique needs of sick or injured WTC volunteers. Volunteers must be able to provide documentation of their volunteer service and medical documentation establishing that their volunteer service caused their injury or illness.
In 2014, New York State Courts ruled that the NYS Workers Compensation Board had improperly denied unaffiliated volunteers benefits under the program. Previously the State had only provided benefits to injured volunteers who had worked for organizations like the Red Cross or the Salvation Army and not for “unaffiliated” Volunteers. Under the court decision, the State now must provide benefits to injured “unaffiliated” Volunteers.
In 2016, Governor Cuomo proposed and the N.Y.S. Legislator State Funding to continue the WTC Volunteer Fund.
For more information on N.Y.S. Workers Compensation Boards World Trade Center Volunteer Fund, click here.