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  • Writer's pictureSameer Nath, Esq.

I was a Ground Zero Worker and am Sick as a Result - is it too Late to Apply for Benefits?

Never Forget! As New Yorkers, the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center was a traumatic, terrifying and tragic event for all of us who remember. We watched breathlessly on television as rescue crews, police, fire, EMS, and construction workers risked everything to try and rescue our friends, family and neighbors. We watched, grieved, prayed, and ultimately hoped as they began the massive reconstruction projects afterward.

Unfortunately, many workers were exposed to debris, smoke, pollution and airborne toxins both at the Ground Zero site and in its vicinity. Today, almost 19 years later, people are still being diagnosed with serious illnesses and conditions as a result of their exposure on both 9/11 and in its aftermath.

Registration Deadline Has been Extended: Even if you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed with a covered condition, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (V.C.F.) has extended registration deadline to July 29, 2021.

In order to make a claim from the V.C.F., you must register first. Even though the deadline might seem far away, unexpected hitches or delays can occur, so it is always important to register as soon as possible rather than wait.

Instructions for V.C.F. claims are on their website here:

Make sure you timely submit all required paperwork: It is extremely important that you abide by their instructions and their deadlines. For example, if any paperwork is missing, this can cause delays with your claim. V.C.F. will send you a letter telling you what is missing and label your claim "inactive." If they are not provided with the complete paperwork within sixty (60) days from the letter date, your claim will likely be denied and you will have to start the registration process over.

Accelerated Application Process may be Available: If you've been diagnosed as terminally ill (covered late-stage cancers, etc.), or if you have qualifying life emergencies (e.g.: facing an eviction or foreclosure) there are ways to speed the process. However, to do this, you or your lawyer will have to contact the V.C.F. directly.

If you have any questions, feel free to call our office at 914-500-7990 or email

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