The Zadroga Act: Conditions Covered
What 9/11 related medical conditions are covered?
The physical injuries, health problems and psychological trauma caused by the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 are ongoing. Responders, survivors and people living in the New York City area continue to suffer the consequences. Fortunately, these people and their families may be able to receive much-needed help.
The Zadroga Act provides medical care and financial compensation to survivors and responders of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and Pentagon as well as the passenger-jet crash site near Shanksville, PA. The WTC Health Program established by the Act provides testing and treatment for various medical conditions that, according to medical research, may be related to or aggravated by exposure to toxins at these sites.
People suffering from 9/11 related health conditions may also be entitled to compensation from the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), which the Zadroga Act was responsible for reopening. Victims being treated by private physicians will need to supply diagnostic information about their condition in order for the VCF to determine if they are eligible for compensation.
The conditions covered by the WTC Health Program, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include:
Airway and Digestive Disorders
The Act may cover new occurrences of these disorders or pre-existing conditions that were aggravated by exposure, including:
- Chronic cough syndrome
- Chronic laryngitis
- Chronic nasopharyngitis
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Chronic respiratory disorder
- Chronic rhinosinusitis
- Gastroesophageal reflux disorder
- Interstitial lung diseases, which cause scarring of lung tissue
- Obstructive lung disease
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome
- Sleep apnea
- Upper airway hyperreactivity
- Upper airway infammatory disorders
Mental Health Conditions
Post-traumatic stress disorder and other disorders affecting mood, anxiety and substance abuse may be covered by the Zadroga Act, if they occurred as a result of or were exacerbated by WTC work exposure.
Low back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome may be covered for firefighters and other New York City responders are covered in this category, not survivors (people living or working in the area).
A recent development in the health care provided by the Zadroga Act is the inclusion of some 50 forms of cancer. This decision was made in June of 2012, after years of study and a vote by the 15 members of the WTC Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee. It was made official after a public comment and review period on September 10, 2012.
Secondary conditions may also be covered, if these are related to disease progression or treatment complications of a primary health condition that was covered by the WTC Health Program.
If you do not see your medical condition listed above, this does not necessarily mean that you are ineligible for medical care and compensation under the Zadroga Act. One of the professionals at Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern, LLP can thoroughly review the facts of your potential claim to determine whether your case has merit.
Long Latency Periods in 9/11 Related Health Conditions
One of the primary issues addressed by the Zadroga Act was the fact that WTC responders were being diagnosed with medical conditions years after initial exposure and after the VCF had closed. Symptoms may not have presented immediately or the condition may not have been diagnosed until it was too late to seek compensation. The Zadroga Act remedied this, reopening the VCF and establishing a program that would enable responders and survivors the opportunity to receive free medical care and testing at facilities that are experienced in diagnosing and treating 9/11 related conditions.
Although toxic exposure occurred back in 2001, you and your family may now be suffering the consequences. Find out more about your right to health care and compensation by contacting a Zadroga Act attorney at Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern, LLP. With our experience in representing WTC workers, we are confident that we can properly assert your rights and help you build a more secure future. Your initial consultation is free and strictly confidential.