Recent changes will allow more 9/11 first responders to receive compensation under the Zadroga Act. World Trade Center Health Program Administrator John Howard M.D. said in legal documents that the definition of “rare cancers” is being expanded to include the following:
- Malignant Neoplasm of the Cervix Uteri (invasive cervical cancer)
- Malignant Neoplasm of the Testis (testicular cancer)
- Brain Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
Previously, brain cancers and pancreatic cancer were considered to be ineligible for coverage under the Zadroga Act, but Dr. Howard has decided to reverse this decision. The term “rare cancers” is being revised to change “the numeric threshold which determines those cancers which are considered rare”, which adds invasive cervical cancer and testicular cancer to the list.
Additionally, the term “childhood cancers” will now include any type of cancer diagnosed in a person younger than 20 years of age.
Last September, the Zadroga Act was amended to include prostate cancer under the list of eligible illnesses. In September 2012, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) added more than 50 cancers to the list.
The Zadroga Act is intended to help people who suffered illnesses following the 9/11 attack due to toxic dust exposure. Under the act, first responders and residents who lived near the WTC site can receive compensation for medical expenses and other costs incurred as a result of exposure to the hazardous substances. The Act is named after the late James Zadroga, who was a New York City Police Department detective. The law reopened the Victims Compensation Fund for five years when it was passed in December 2010.
Parker Waichman LLP, a national personal injury law firm, has been fighting for the rights of WTC first responders for over a decade. The firm has been advocating for the passing and subsequent expansion of the Zadroga Act since its inception, and is committed to supporting victims of 9/11 and their families.