Op-Ed: Time is running out – October 3 deadline for sick 9/11 First Responders and survivors


| oped@queenscourier.com |

CONGRESSMEMBER CAROLYN MALONEY

The horrific terrorist attacks of 9/11 affected all of us, but survivors and the brave First Responders , many of whom risked everything to provide emergency aid, have suffered incomparable health problems and financial loss in the years following this awful tragedy. Recognizing that many of the victims of 9/11 continued to suffer in the aftermath of the attacks, I, and a number of my colleagues in the New York congressional delegation, authored the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The Zadroga Act provides health care and economic compensation to first responders and survivors.

However, time is running out to apply for economic benefits under the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). If you are a 9/11 survivor or First Responder and discovered as of October 3, 2011 that you have an injury or became sick as a result of the 9/11 attacks, you MUST register for economic compensation by October 3, 2013.

If you lost a loved one, compensation may also available to the family members of First Responders and survivors. You can find out more information about the VCF and apply by visiting www.vcf.gov.

Research has shown that First Responders and survivors who were exposed to dangerous toxins that entered the air at Ground Zero have significantly higher cancer risks, respiratory problems and other medical concerns.

While the World Trade Center Health Program portion of the Zadroga Act provides health coverage for eligible first responders and survivors – and recently coverage was extended to additional types of cancer that have been linked to toxins from Ground Zero – there are likely many out there who are eligible for economic compensation as a result of lost productivity, pain and suffering, etc. That is where the VCF comes in.

My New York Congressional colleagues and I worked hard to pass the Zadroga Act and will continue to fight for strong funding. I encourage anyone who became sick or injured as a result of the 9/11 attacks and suffered economic losses to apply for compensation. Please don’t wait.

Congressmember Carolyn Maloney represents New York’s 12th District, which includes Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.

 

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