The Zadroga Act
The Bill That Reopened the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund & Created a Medical Program for WTC Responders/Survivors
The James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (H.R. 847), commonly referred to as the Zadroga Act, is a bill that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate and signed into law by President Obama on January 2, 2011. This act established the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program for the purpose of ensuring continued monitoring and treatment for those affected by 9/11 health problems. It also reopened the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), which allows those injured or who have lost loved ones to file claims for financial compensation. Click here to read the Zadroga Act in its entirety.
This portion of our website was created to offer helpful information about the Zadroga Act, how it works, why it was established and what benefits it may offer you and your family. You can learn more about specific topics related to this subject by reviewing the information and clicking on the links we have included below. You are also always welcome to contact Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern, LLP to discuss your particular questions and concerns with an attorney. We offer friendly, knowledgeable insight when you need it most – and your initial compensation is free.
Help for 9/11 Cancer Patients
When the Zadroga Act initially passed in December of 2010 and was signed into law by President Obama in January of 2011, it did not specifically include cancer in the list of conditions covered by the WTC Health Program and Victim Compensation Fund. This left countless rescue workers, volunteers and survivors without anywhere to turn when they developed cancer as a result of their exposure at Ground Zero and the crash site at the Pentagon and outside of Shanksville, PA. Fortunately, a decision by WTC Health Program administrator Dr. John Howard in June of 2012 changed this.
50 Types of Cancer Covered
The decision to cover 50 different types of cancer in 14 categories came as a much-needed improvement to the Zadroga Act. It entitled WTC responders and survivors diagnosed with cancer the opportunity to seek medical treatment and recover financial compensation for their conditions. It also provided medical monitoring under the WTC Health Program, which can help with the early detection and treatment of 9/11-related cancers.
The Zadroga Act covers physical injuries caused by or related to the WTC terrorist attack. This may include respiratory conditions, acid reflux disease, occupational asthma, WTC cough, asbestosis, sarcoidosis, silicosis and cancer. Some illnesses may be taken on a case by case basis if not specifically listed as covered by the Act.
Ground Zero Exposure
Ground Zero, as the WTC collision site was aptly named, presented considerable danger to rescuers and first responders not only because of the difficulty of digging through debris and rubble but because of the toxins present in the area. 1,000-foot clouds of fumes covered Lower Manhattan after the Twin Towers collapsed. The airborne particulates, debris, fumes and gas in the area have since been recognized to include some 70 different carcinogens (cancer-causing substances).
Key Benefits of the Zadroga Act
The Zadroga Act offers key benefits to those injured in the 9/11 relief efforts. Firefighters, police officers and other workers who participated in the clean-up and rescue efforts may only now be experiencing symptoms of various illnesses caused by toxic exposure at or near Ground Zero. Private insurance does not cover occupational illness; thus these workers may have nowhere to turn for the medical care they so desperately need. The Zadroga Act reopened the VCF and created a health program to help these workers.
September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)
Reopened by the Zadroga Act, the VCF is meant to provide compensation to those who have suffered injury or to family members who have lost loved ones as a result of the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. It also covers the debris removal and rescue efforts following the airplane crashes that occurred that fateful day. The injured and families of the injured may file claims to seek the compensation they need.
World Trade Center Health Program
The WTC Health Program provides medical tests and treatment for responders and survivors of the 9/11 attacks on the WTC and Pentagon as well as the passenger-jet collision near Shanksville, PA. People living, working or attending school in the New York City disaster area may be covered, and workers who helped with rescue and clean-up efforts at the collision sites may also be entitled to health care under this program.
Who Was James Zadroga? A History of the Act
The Zadroga Act was named after Detective James L. Zadroga, a member of the New York City Police Department who was one of the first responders after the attacks on the World Trade Center. He was in one of the buildings when it collapsed, but was able to make it out alive and spent the following weeks participating in rescue and clean-up efforts in the Ground Zero area. Soon after, he began experiencing health problems and died in January of 2006 from medical conditions that have been attributed to his exposure at the WTC site.
Are you entitled to compensation or medical care?
An estimated 40,000 people participated in the initial rescue and recovery efforts after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. These people and many more placed others before themselves, working tirelessly in all types of clean-up and rescue efforts. People living or working in the affected areas were also injured or exposed to toxins that may lead to later health problems. The Zadroga Act serves an essential role in helping responders and survivors receive the medical care and financial help they need. Many people were not diagnosed with serious health conditions or did not display symptoms until years after the initial attacks and after the VCF had already closed. The Zadroga Act changed this.
If you would like more information about the Zadroga Act and would like to know if you are eligible for these benefits or compensation, contact Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern, LLP today. Our firm represented more than 10,000 WTC responders and workers who developed health conditions from exposure to toxic dust during rescue, recovery and debris removal efforts in the World Trade Center Disaster Site Litigation and secured a historical settlement for these clients. We are prepared to help you.