The survivors and first responders of the vicious 9/11 terrorist attack face lingering complications to this day.
While the attack happened almost two decades ago, the dangerous plume enveloping the surrounding area contained many carcinogens and harmful compounds. As a result, survivors and first responders developed various aerodigestive conditions and cancers.
In response to the needs of 9/11 survivors, the state of New York and support groups have created various resources like the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) to meet them. This gives 9/11 victims funds for or direct access to healthcare.
Respected law group, Hansen & Rosasco, LLP, note that “qualifying members can have access to compassionate and high-quality treatment and care without having to pay any out-of-pocket expenses, including copayments or deductibles.”
As you can imagine, this provides physical and emotional relief to those who need it most. Fortunately, 9/11 victims have additional resources they can seek, which we’ll outline below.
World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP)
The first resource is the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP).
The WTCHP exists to give the survivors of 9/11 an avenue for free medical treatment and monitoring. There are seven clinics throughout New York and New Jersey.
If you are located elsewhere, you can use the National Provider Network to seek free care at included clinics found all around the country.
Considering how expensive medical services are, the WTCHP is an excellent alternative for 9/11 survivors. The only catch is that you must satisfy the criteria for eligibility, which simply entails being a direct 9/11 survivor, 9/11 first responder, or 9/11 clean-up worker.
Once you have proved your eligibility to the WTCHP, you are registered for life. This will entitle you to their benefits, which include medical services directly aimed at 9/11-related cancers, aerodigestive conditions, and mental health disorders.
You do not need to have an active illness to register for the WTCHP and you are encouraged to register regardless to ensure coverage should any health complications related to 9/11 arise in the future.
September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (9/11 VCF)
Another critical source of assistance is the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (9/11 VCF).
Many 9/11 victims are already aware of the WTCHP, but far fewer are taking advantage of the 9/11 VCF. This is a fund designated to compensate those impacted by the fateful attacks of September 11th.
For many survivors, 9/11 resulted in health conditions that affected their quality of life and ability to work. This created both economic and non-economic losses.
Non-economic losses are apparent in the form of the pain and suffering that 9/11 victims undeniably experienced. On the other hand, economic losses are the financial repercussions of the attack, namely medical bills and lost income.
The payouts from the 9/11 VCF can make a major difference for a survivor. Depending on the extent of your situation, you can receive several thousand or even millions in more severe cases.
Recently, the deadline for registering with the 9/11 VCF was extended to July 29th, 2021. Similar to the WTCHP, you do not need to have an active illness to register for the fund.
One thing to keep in mind is that registering for the 9/11 VCF is not the same as filing a claim with the 9/11 VCF. You can register and wait until a 9/11-related illness occurs before filing a claim. The deadline for filing a claim with the 9/11 VCF is in 2090.
Various non-profit organizations can also be beneficial for 9/11 survivors.
Thousands of people were affected by September 11th and many organizations were created to help those that were impacted. These organizations vary in how they offer assistance, with some providing free healthcare to others offering financial assistance.
One of the most noteworthy non-profits for first responders is the Feal Good Foundation (FGF). The FGF helps increase awareness of 9/11-related illnesses, puts survivors in contact with health professionals, provides free healthcare, and even offers financial assistance.
There are also several scholarships available for the family members of 9/11 victims that have passed away. The financial impact of 9/11 persists for their children, who miss out on assistance by having a deceased parent.
In response to this, scholarships are available to help cover a significant expense and provide the opportunity to create a better future.
Many different non-profit organizations, scholarships, and help groups are available for the survivors of 9/11. Some have specific victims they intend to help, but there are surely many non-profit resources that you can benefit from regardless of how you were affected by 9/11.
Specifically for the volunteers and clean-up workers of 9/11, government help through workers’ compensation is also available.
The destruction of 9/11 was severe and required nearly a year to fully finish clean-up. The cleaning effort required countless hours of manpower and hard effort. Unfortunately, the area around Ground Zero was extremely toxic and this made many clean-up workers sick.
Considering that clean-up workers were affected while they were laboring, this entitles them to workers’ compensation. This is significant because workers’ compensation can help cover lost wages and medical expenses.
A final thing to note is that clean-up volunteers are eligible for workers’ compensation. While they were not technically employed, they were working for free and deserve the same benefits as someone who was being paid.
9/11 victims will never forget the horrors of September 11th. It can be incredibly difficult to put the past behind you, especially when 9/11 resulted in several serious health conditions that affect survivors to this day.
While you may still be affected by 9/11, there are many resources you can turn to for help. This includes the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP), 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (9/11 VCF), non-profit organizations like the Feal Good Foundation, and workers’ compensation.
You certainly didn’t deserve the outcome of 9/11, but you can make your life better by seeking the resources created specifically to help you. Take advantage of the groups mentioned above to receive some much-needed relief!