Some 9/11 rescue workers and survivors have until next Tuesday, October 14, 2014 to register for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). Recently, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Congressman Jerrold Nadler held a press conference with first responders, labor leaders, community representatives and advocates for 9/11 survivors to stress the importance of registering by this deadline.
“First responders and community survivors displayed unparalleled bravery and courage on September 11, 2001, and in the weeks following, as they risked their lives to search for victims among the rubble and to return to their homes, schools and workplaces downtown. I strongly encourage those who have been diagnosed with cancer from exposure to Ground Zero during the aftermath of 9/11 to register with the VCF right away by going to VCF.gov. If you do not register by October 14, you will unfortunately not be eligible,” Congressman Jerrold Nadler said in a press release issued Tuesday. “These brave heroes labored for weeks in the smoldering ash to clear debris and locate victims. The funds have already been designated for this purpose and it is imperative that as many responders and survivors as possible receive their just and deserved compensation.”
The VCF provides compensation to World Trade Center (WTC) first responders and survivors who became ill or injured as a result of the attacks on September 11th, 2001. Claimants who were diagnosed with a condition listed as eligible generally have two years from the date of diagnosis to register with the Fund and file claims for compensation. Those who were diagnosed with an eligible cancer on or before October 12, 2012 must register by next Tuesday, October 14th 2014.
Compensation from VCF applies to first responders and survivors from the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the Shankesville, PA crash sites. Those who register are not required to file a claim at any time. Registering simply preserve’s the right to file a claim in the future. The deadline cannot be extended by the Fund’s Special Master.
Toxic dust exposure during 9/11 is linked to a number of medical conditions, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease and over 60 different types of cancer. In the press release, Uniformed Firefighters Association Jim Slevin said, “Medical data that the FDNY maintained on every New York City Firefighter pre-9/11 gave doctors a conclusive scientific baseline on the negative health impact the response and operations at the World Trade Center site had on our members. Since then New York City Firefighters have been getting sick and dying in record numbers as a result of cancers and other diseases caused by breathing the toxic air at the World Trade Center site. Victims of 9/11 that have been diagnosed with cancer have already suffered enough. Additional suffering should not take place because they miss the upcoming deadline to register for the Victims Compensation Fund. We urge all 9/11 cancer victims to register by this important deadline.”