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9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Filing Deadlines: What You Need to Know

On September 15, 2016, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) extended deadlines to file claims for compensation. The new  VCF deadlines substantially benefit many victims who were previously told that they had missed filing or registration deadlines.

Anyone who was previously told by any source that they missed a filing deadline should call our office today at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636) to see if they can now file under the new deadlines.

9/11 victims now have up to two years to register a claim with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund from the date a government entity (such as the World Trade Center Health Program or the New York Workers’ Compensation Board) certifies a diagnosis (such as cancer) as being 9/11 related.  At the 9/11 law firm of Turley Hansen, we work closely with the World Trade Center Health Program to make sure our clients are properly “certified” so the do not miss any registration or filing deadlines.

For example, let’s say you were diagnosed by your private physician with prostate cancer on February 1, 2017.  You call our office and we help you enroll in the World Trade Center Health Program (a government entity).   The WTC Health Program certifies that your prostate cancer is 9/11 related on March 1, 2017.  This is your “Registration Start Date”. You have until March 1, 2019 (two years later) to register your claim with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Other governmental entities that can start the registration VCF deadline include employers such as the FDNY, NYPD, or NYCERS for purposes of awarding a disability pension.

For individuals not being treated through the WTC Health Program, the Registration Start Date is the earlier of: (1) the date on which a government entity determined that the physical injury or condition was 9/11-related, or (2) the date on which the individual’s physical injury or condition is verified through the VCF’s Private Physician process.  Call us to discuss “certification” under the VCF’s Private Physician process.

For families of loved ones who passed due to what they believe was a 9/11 related illness, they must register within two years of the victims death. In the case of new-onset 9/11 related Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), if the victim died on or before August 4, 2016, the family would have until August 4, 2018 to register.

See the official 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Registration and Deadline chart here.

Important: Regardless of the date of your 9/11 condition “certification”, all 9/11 claims and supporting documents must be filed by December 18, 2020.  For example, if you are diagnosed with colon cancer on November 1, 2020, you need to have your cancer “certified” as 9/11 related and all your full claim filed in just over six weeks. Call us at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636) with any VCF deadline questions you might have.

 

9/11 Lung Cancer Claims and WTC Victim Compensation Fund

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Lung cancers are, unfortunately, yet another common cancer seen in claims before the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.  Extended exposure to toxins such as asbestos and dioxins left many 9/11 first responders, clean-up workers and those who lived or worked in the area, fighting a courageous battle with lung cancer.

Downtown Manhattan residents and downtown workers below Canal Street are also eligible for compensation and health benefits under the 9/11 Zadroga Act. First responders were not the only victims—New York State accountant, Jerry Borg, who worked in a building blocks away from the Twin Towers, died in December, 2010 of an inflammatory disease of the lungs. Borg was ruled the 2,753rd victim of 9/11, following his death.

In addition, the large amount of asbestos at Ground Zero after the WTC attacks has led to an increase in mesothelioma cancer claims before the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.  In fact, in the dust samples collected by the EPA in the first week following 9/11, a full one-quarter showed asbestos at levels indicating a significant risk. For detailed studies about the amount of toxins found in the 9/11 dust, see Dr. Paul . J. Lioy’s seminal book about the toxins in the 9/11 dust,  “Dust”, published in 2010.

Also inside the two towers were heavy metals such as lead, polychlorinated biphenyls used in electrical transformers, and glass fibers which lodged in the lungs of many in the area. Further, the levels of dioxin measured in the air near the World Trade Center were the “highest ambient measurements of dioxin ever recorded” in the world—at least 100 times higher than those found downwind of a garbage incinerator.  The “9/11 cough” that so many suffered from, was largely due to the drywall and cement which showered down on Lower Manhattan. First responders, rescue workers and those cleaning up the areas were literally bathed in the toxic dust.

Unfortunately, respirators were either not used at all, or were often used incorrectly—many did not wear the respirators because they found it very difficult to communicate with the bulky face mask in place. Ground Zero smoldered until December 19th, releasing harmful, toxic fumes. As a result, 9/11 lung cancer and mesothelioma cases are likely to increase in the future.

Seventy different types of cancers are covered under the 9/11 Zadroga Act for medical care under the World Trade Center Health Program, as well as for victim compensation under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

Recognizing Lung/Bronchus Cancer

It stands to reason that the first responders and others covered under the 9/11 Zadroga Act who spent time breathing toxic fumes following 9/11 could end up with lung and bronchial problems. In 2016, across the nation, there were 224,390 new cases of lung cancer, making up about 13.3 percent of all new cancer cases. Worse, there were 158,080 deaths from lung cancer in 2016, representing 26.5 percent of the total deaths from cancer. Setting aside direct exposure to lung toxins, about 6.5 percent of adults in the United States will be diagnosed with lung and bronchus cancer at some point in their lifetime.

Symptoms associated with lung cancer include:

·         A persistent cough;

·         Coughing up blood;

·         Shortness of breath;

·         Unexplained weight loss;

·         Difficulty swallowing;

·         Fatigue;

·         Hoarseness;

·         Loss of appetite, and

·         Weakness.

Diagnosing Lung/Bronchus Cancer

A doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to a patient’s lungs, with a goal of determining whether there is fluid around the lungs. Other tests a doctor may use to diagnose lung or bronchus cancer include a sputum test, a biopsy, imaging tests such as PET scans, CT scans, MRI’s and X-rays, a bronchoscopy, which allows the doctors to see abnormal areas of the lungs, and/or a mediastinoscopy, in which a lighted tub is inserted through a small incision in the center of the chest cavity to view the lungs.

9/11 first responders, downtown workers and downtown residents diagnosed with lung cancer should call our office to discuss the benefits of getting their  condition certified as 9/11 related by the World Trade Center Health Program.

Read here for more information on the World Trade Center Health Program.

The Stages of 9/11 Related Lung Cancers

If a doctor diagnoses his or her patient with lung cancer, the next step will be to determine whether the malignancy has spread beyond the lungs. It is most common for lung cancer to metastasize to the liver, brain and bones.

  • Stage 1 lung cancer is limited to the lungs, and has not spread. At this stage, the lung cancer is generally smaller than two inches.
  • Stage 2 lung cancer tumor may be larger than 2 inches and may involve nearby structures, including the lining of the lungs, the lymph nodes and the diaphragm.
  • Stage 3 lung cancer tumor may be fairly large, and involve other vital organs which are near the lungs.
  • Stage 4 lung cancer tumors have spread beyond the lung to distant areas of the body. Treatment will depend on the overall health of the patient, the patient’s age, the type and stage of the cancer and whether the cancer has spread. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy and other targeted cancer drugs are used to treat lung cancer.

General Outlook for Patients with Lung Cancer

Those diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer have a 58-73 percent five-year survival rate. Those diagnosed with stage 2 lung cancer have a 36-46 percent five-year survival rate, while those with stage 3 lung cancer have a 19-24 percent five-year survival rate. Finally, those diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer have only a 2-13 percent five-year survival rate.

The World Trade Center Health Program Clinical Centers of Excellence treat all 9/11-related cancers, including lung cancer. The attorneys at Turley Hansen have represented many clients with lung cancer or mesothelioma related to the 9/11 toxic dust fumes. If you have questions regarding your medical care or about an award for lung cancer from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, please call Turley Hansen, LLP at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636).

9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Heroes Scammed by RD Legal Funding?

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According to a recent attention grabbing article in the New York Daily News, the NY State Attorney General has now accused RD Legal Funding, a New Jersey lending company, of scamming 9/11 victims suffering from cancer. See my prior blog post here on press reports and litigation when RD Legal Funding had the audacity to sue a 9/11 victim for one of their outrageously expensive loans. Victims who are waiting for their 911 Victim Compensation Fund award should be treated better!

It is alleged by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that RD Legal Funding scammed 9/11 victims out of millions, by “luring” them into taking out illegal loans with interest rates as high as 250 percent! See a copy of the Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s complaint here.  The Attorney General deserves accolades for attempting to protect our 9/11 heroes from this shameful scam.

RD Legal Funding is one of the many companies who loan or advance cash to those waiting for a payout from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).  The outrageous profits from this lending are then funnelled into RD Capital, a hedge fund currently being investigated by the federal Securities and Exchange Commision.  If my theory is correct, this means many 9/11 cancer victims are seeing their awards greatly diminished to line the pockets of hedge fund investors. SAD!

Not only did RD Legal Funding target 9/11 first responders and victims who suffered from cancer, they also preyed on NFL football players with serious and permanent brain injuries from multiple concussions. Some have dementia and early onset Alzheimer’s. SAD!

According to an article in Forbes Magazine, “The NFL Players Association sent a “Fraud Alert” last week, but the fear is that far too many players eligible to receive proceeds from a settlement that could be worth $1 billion and may reach over 20,000 retired players are subject to being deceived into taking an “advance payment.” The company at issue is RD Legal Funding, and authorities are also digging into two related entities as well as RD Legal’s principal identified as Roni Dersovitz.

Huge Interest Rates for Those Who Received Money from RD Legal Funding

It appears RD Legal Funding specifically targeted two groups—9/11 first responders who developed cancer and were waiting on compensation from the 9/11 James Zadroga Act Fund and NFL football players who had suffered serious concussions with permanent brain injuries. The company identified vulnerable victims in these two categories who were awarded a settlement, but were waiting for the money to come through.  RD Legal would then offer 9/11 victims awaiting payment from the WTC Fund—who were cancer stricken and often drowning in debt and medical bills—an upfront payment they could ostensibly repay once their settlement money came through. Then, when the settlement did come through and these 9/11 victims attempted to repay the loans, they found themselves paying more than twice the amount lent to them by RD Legal—sometimes only mere months earlier.

As an example, one woman who had been awarded $65,000 by the Zadroga WTC Fund (a 9/11 compensation fund set up by Congress for the benefit of first responders who suffered from medical issues directly related to the toxic dust which settled over the area), found herself owing nearly twice what she was advanced. The woman took out an loan from RD Legal of $18,000 to tide her over while she waited for her Zadroga Fund settlement. When she received that settlement, six months later, RD Legal informed her she now owed $33,000. SAD!

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of NY calls the practices of RD Legal Funding “shameful”.  RD Legal, as well as the founder of the Company, Roni Dersovitz are named as defendants in the current lawsuit by the Attorney General. Dersovitz has had prior troubles with the law, as he was not only accused of lying to investors of RD Legal Capital, but was also sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission last year.

The lawsuit against RD Legal Funding claims the company misled 9/11 victims by telling them they would help them get their settlements more quickly.  In fact, RD Legal Funding has neither the ability nor permission to help a victim receive their settlement from the James Zadroga Fund more quickly than would normally happen.

The WTC Victim Compensation Fund lawyers at Turley Hansen & Partners agree with the New York State Attorney General that the practices of RD Legal Funding are “shameful” and further victimize vulnerable 9/11 victims currently fighting cancer.

We suggest that no 9/11 first responder or victim applying to the WTC Victim Compensation Fund should use their services until the lawsuit from the New York Attorney General is completed. If you have already taken a loan from RD Legal Funding while you await your 9/11 settlement award money, we suggest you should call the New York State Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-771-7755 or your 9/11 attorney to see if you must repay these outrageous loans.

Turley Hansen & Partners have the resources and experience needed to represent first responders and survivors of 9/11 before the federal 911 WTC Victim Compensation Fund. Call us at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636) if you have any questions.

9/11 WTC Fund Awards for Skin Cancer

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Exposure to the 9/11 toxins put 9/11 responders and downtown residents/workers at high risk for developing non-melanoma 9/11 skin cancer. The Zadroga Act covers WTC Fund related skin cancers and makes appropriate tax free pain and suffering awards..

Non-melanoma skin cancer (including basal and squamous cell) is covered under the 9/11 Zadroga Act for both medical care under the World Trade Center Health Program, and for victim compensation eligibility under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

Non-melanoma skin cancer is, by far, the most common type of cancer “certified” by the World Trade Center Health Program as caused by exposure to the 9/11 toxins that hung over lower Manhattan (and anywhere where the 9/11-related debris was handled).  The latest WTCHP report documents close to 2,000 responders and survivors who have been certified as eligible for free lifetime treatment and cash compensation for non-melanoma skin cancer.

Recognizing Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of skin cancer is extremely important, as it can lead to aggressive and proactive treatment to prevent the spread of the disease.

·         Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) – the first sign of BCC is often a small pink or reddish lump on normal skin. This lump is often also pearly and dome shaped, but it can vary in shape and in color. It is a very slow growing tumor. Over time, the lump can bleed or crust over. If left untreated, the BCC can spread to nearby structures and damage them. This is especially true if the BCC is located near the nose or ear.

·         Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) – the first sign of SCC is a small crusty or scaly area of skin on the face, lips or ears. Sometimes it grows into a lump or it may even look like a wart. As the SCC grows, it can also damage nearby structures and completely erode them. It can also spread to other parts of the body, but this is rare.

Diagnosing Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer at World Trade Center “Clinical Centers of Excellence”

Skin cancer is diagnosed by taking a biopsy of the tissue. Once the tissue is examined under a microscope and a diagnosis of skin cancer is made, a doctor can help you determine what additional testing you will need. If he or she suspects that your cancer has already spread to other parts of the body, your doctor may decide to order X-rays, blood tests, or MRI scans.

Treating Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer at WTC Health Program “Clinical Centers of Excellence”

The physicians at the WTCHP “Clinical Centers of Excellence” have specialists to diagnose and provide treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer.  There are numerous ways non-melanoma can be treated, especially if it is caught early. In many cases, the cancerous tumor can simply be extracted and removed from the body and the normal skin stitched together. In other cases, cryosurgery is recommended where the cancer cells are frozen with a liquid nitrogen treatment. In some cases, chemotherapy creams or photodynamic therapy is recommended. When you are diagnosed, your physician will be able to determine the best course of treatment for your cancer.

General Outlook for Patients with Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

The good news is that almost all BCCs and SCCs can be treated and cured. Since the rate of metastasis is low with these types of cancer, the localized tumor can usually be removed and the cancerous cells killed with simple operations or techniques. However, it is important to note that individuals with a history of BCCs and SCCs have a greater chance of developing another one in the future.

WTC skin cancer  the most common 9/11-related cancer treated at the WTCHP Clinical Centers of Excellence. The WTC attorneys at Turley Hansen have represented numerous clients with non-melanoma skin cancer before the WTC Victim Compensation Fund. Should you have questions about medical care or an award for Non-melanoma skin cancer from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, please call us at 1-855-982-4636.

You or your partner should keep a close eye on you skin!

FDNY Publishes Most Comprehensive 9/11 Health Impact Study Ever Done

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God bless the medical professionals at the FDNY WTC Health Program. They just published a thorough 100`page study on the health impacts of 9/11 on FDNY rescue and recovery workers (Firefighters, EMT’s, Paramedics, Officers, civilians and retirees) for the past 15 years.  And it’s all written in plain English.  

See the New 2016 FDNY 9/11 Health Impact Study here.

After the World Trade Center collapsed on 9/11, a cloud of dust and debris resembling a massive volcanic explosion enveloped lower Manhattan.  In addition to the 343 firefighters killed that terrible day, thousands more were on the front lines of rescue and recovery for nearly ten months. During these heroic efforts, they were exposed to WTC toxins including burning jet fuel, asbestos, wood and fiberglass particulates, cement dust, noxious gases, chemicals and carpet fibers.  Since 9/11, 127 FDNY responders have died from 9/11 cancers and/or respiratory problems.

In the last 15 years, the FDNY WTC Health Program, under the outstanding leadership of Drs. Kerry J. Kelly and David J. Prezant, has provided medical treatment for either physical or mental conditions (PTSD, depression) to almost 14,000 fire department members. Last year alone, the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program provided medical care to over 9000 members. The need is still strong.

The most common FDNY WTC-related illnesses continue to be 9/11 related upper and lower respiratory diseases such as COPD, chronic bronchitis, interstitial lung disease, asthma and rhinosinusitis.  Unfortunately, 9/11 related cancers among FDNY members continue to grow – with 9/11 prostate cancer and  9/11 thyroid cancers being the most predominant. FDNY 9/11 responders were found to have higher cancer rates among all types of cancers, compared to the general population. Unfortunately, our office has seen a significant increase in the last year of 9/11 related skin cancer, 9/11 lung cancer  and  9/11 colon cancer among our 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund claim clients.

The findings of this comprehensive study show important  health monitoring is for all 9/11 first responders, including the NYPD. To date, the FDNY WTC Health Program has provided over 130,000 yearly monitoring exams saving countless lives. Keep up the great work!

 

 

9/11 Responders Urged to Join World Trade Center Health Program by Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart, formerly of the Daily Show and an devoted advocate for 9/11 victims, appeared on a special Facebook streaming program yesterday to urge 30,000 people potentially eligible for health care through the World Trade Center Health Program and compensation through the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to take advantage of the programs. (listen above to a Daily News snippet).

This important and informative event, held at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, was much needed. For the last five years, this blog has posted literally hundreds of informative posts on the benefits available to 9/11 first responders and all downtown workers and residents in lower Manhattan. Nevertheless, there are still many individuals who don’t know they are eligible. This is a shame because the 9/11 World Trade Center Health Program brings world class medical professionals to those eligible under the 9/11 Zadroga Act.

As a service to our clients, Turley Hansen will complete all paperwork to enroll our clients in the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) so you can concentrate on your health.

Besides enrolling our clients in the health program, our office works with clients everyday advising of all the World Trade Center Health Program’s benefits and how they may impact on their 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund claim.

We can streamline the entire process of obtaining “proof” documents both the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

Those eligible do not have to give up their current treating doctors to avail themselves of the significant benefits of the World Trade Center Health Program. For example, no matter where in the country you live, if you are a 9/11 cancer victim you can continue to treat with your current surgeon and oncologist but also obtain benefits, such as 100% paid prescriptions, from the health program.

Those eligible for coverage for health care under the 9/11 Zadroga Act may include:

  • Workers and Volunteers – construction workers, utility workers, security workers, volunteers, etc. (call us for full list) who worked or volunteered in rescue, recovery, demolition, debris cleanup or related support services in lower Manhattan (south of Canal St), including Ground Zero, the Staten Island Landfill, or the trucks, barges, or piers;
  • Members of the NYPD or the Port Authority Police (active or retired) who participated in rescue, recovery, debris cleanup, or related services in lower Manhattan (south of Canal St), including Ground Zero, the Fresh Kills Landfill, or the barge piers;
  • Members of the Fire Department of New York City – FDNY (fire or emergency personnel, active or retired) who participated at least one day in the rescue and recovery effort at any of the former World Trade Center sites (including Ground Zero, Staten Island Landfill, and the New York City Chief Medical Examiner’s Office),
  • Volunteer firefighters and police officers not employed by NYC;
  • NYC morgue workers;
  • Vehicle-maintenance workers who was exposed to debris from the former World Trade Center site while retrieving, driving, cleaning, repairing, and maintaining contaminated vehicles.

New York City Survivors (including downtown residents, office workers, students)

  • All people who were present in the New York City disaster area in the dust on September 11, 2001;
  • All people who worked, lived, or attended school, child care, or adult day care in the New York City disaster area for at least 4 days during the 4-month period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on Jan. 10, 2002, or at least 30 days during the 11 months beginning September 11, 2001 and ending on July 31, 2002;
  • All people on who worked as cleanup workers or performed maintenance work in the New York City disaster area during the 4 months starting September 11, 2001, and ending on Jan. 10, 2002;

Pentagon/Shanksville, Pennsylvania Responders

  • Fire department employees (both fire and emergency personnel, active or retired), police department employees (active or retired), recovery or cleanup workers and contractors and volunteers (including Red Cross) who took part in the rescue, recovery, demolition, debris cleanup, or other related services after the terrorist-related air crashes on September 11, 2001, at the Pentagon or the passenger-jet crash site in Shanksville, PA.

Some of the most common 9/11 cancers that can be treated through the World Trade Center Health Program include:

If you would like Turley Hansen to enroll you in the 9/11 World Trade Center Health Program in conjunction with your 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund claim, please call us at 1-855-WTC-INFO. We will answer all your questions take care of all the paperwork.

A new website 911wereyouthere.com has been launched by several non-profit 9/11 support groups with additional info. In addition, you can call the World Trade Center Health Program directly at 1-888-982-4748.

 

 

9/11 Skin Cancer Screening Available at World Trade Center Health Program

9/11 Skin Cancer

9/11 Skin Cancer

Michael Dorian, who has 9/11 related skin cancer, was recently profiled on New York Fox 5 News about his 9/11 cancer. He is urging all first responders, volunteers, downtown workers and downtown residents to take advantage of yearly skin cancer screens at the World Trade Center Health Program.

Michael was a veterinary technician who went down to Ground Zero on 9/11 soon after the buildings collapsed as a volunteer. He administered oxygen and washed out the eyes of first responders and other volunteers who were on the pile.

Michael was there for only about 24 hours working on top of the pile.  Within days, he was in the hospital with throat burns from inhaling the dust, fumes and debris.

14 years after 9/11, at age 47, Michael was diagnosed with skin cancer. Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers impacting 9/11 survivors.  The World Trade Center Health Program’s list of almost 70 covered cancers linked to 9/11 includes skin cancer, including 9/11 melanoma.

The are three common types of  9/11 skin cancer:

  • Basal cell carcinoma

  • Squamous cell carcinoma

  • Melanoma (by far the most serious of 9/11 related skin cancers)

Michael says his doctors have given him just two years to live. Despite that dire prognosis, Michael says he does not regret helping at Ground Zero. He says he would do it again because he knows he helped. Michael is a true 9/11 volunteer hero!

Michael is now trying to help other volunteers. He says he never realized his cancer could be linked to 9/11. He was not aware of the World Trade Center Health Program at Mount Sinai Hospital.

It is available to anyone who lived or worked in any capacity south of Canal Street (see map here) between 9/11/2001 and 5/30/2002. He is urging everyone to get screened, even if they don’t have symptoms now.

If you would like to join the World Trade Center Health Program, you may call 1-888-982-4748. In the alternative, our 9/11 lawyers enroll our clients in the medical program for free.

Michael is thankful for every day he has left. He says there is a drug currently in clinical trials that could possibly prolong his life.  Let’s hope he will stay alive long enough to get the chance to try it.

WTC First Responders Have Major Increase in 9/11 Prostate and Thyroid Cancers

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If you were a 9/11 first responder, a new study shows you need to be on the watch for thyroid and prostate cancers  – even more than the other almost 70 cancers covered by the World Trade Center Health Program and compensated by the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. This matches the experience of the 9/11 attorneys at Turley Hansen where the numbers of our clients with 9/11 prostate and thyroid cancers are outpacing other 9/11 cancers.

Important Note to 9/11 First Responders: Get your simple PSA blood test for prostate cancer today! It could save your life.

The researchers found that firefighters who worked at Ground Zero were more than three times more likely to get thyroid cancer. The study also found that between 2005 and 2009, prostate cancer diagnoses were about 38 percent higher for the WTC-exposed firefighters.

The study results were similar to a previous study comparing thyroid and prostate cancers found in 9/11 recovery workers compared to the general population. In that study, researchers found a 10 percent increase in the rates of all cancers among those exposed at the WTC compared to the general population, with thyroid and prostate cancers being the most commonly diagnosed.

The research continues to confirm the unfortunate impact of the WTC toxins on all rescue, recovery and cleanup workers at the 9/11 crash site. Besides firemen (FDNY, volunteer firefighters), policemen (NYPD, MTA)  and other first responders, others at high risk for 9/11 related cancers are:

  • All Construction workers at Ground Zero
  • Iron Workers at Ground Zero
  • Utility workers (Verizon, Con Ed and Time Warner workers)
  • Security workers
  • Federal workers (FBI, EPA)
  • National Guard
  • Volunteers
  • Office cleaners in downtown buildings
  • All professional and office workers in the financial district between 9/11/2001 and 5/30/2002
  • All downtown workers in any capacity below Canal Street between 9/11/2001 and 5/30/2002
  • All downtown Manhattan residents living below Canal Street between 9/11/2001 and 5/30/2002
  • Students below Canal Street between 9/11/2001 and 5/30/2002
  • City workers at the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island
  • Workers on barges and piers taking 9/11 away
  • Workers at the NYC morgue
  • And many others.

If you have questions about your eligibility for free healthcare from the World Trade Center Health Program and compensation benefits from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund for 9/11 prostate cancer, call us today at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636). 

Again, get your PSA test today!

Turley Hansen Sponsors 9/11 Health Watch Annual Dinner

(L-R) Daniel J. Hansen, Rep. Peter King, Troy G. Rosasco

(L-R) Daniel J. Hansen, Rep. Peter King, Troy G. Rosasco

9/11 Health Watch is one of the most important 9/11 Advocacy groups in the United States. 9/11 Health Watch makes sure the government keeps its promises to everyone harmed by the 9/11 attacks.  Under the fearless leadership of  Executive Director Ben Chevat, the organization monitors  health care and compensation programs to make sure everyone who’s injured or sick because of September 11th gets the help they need and deserve.

Turley Hansen & Partners, LLP was honored to be one of the financial supporters of this vital organization at its annual fundraiser this past Tuesday with a $10,000 gift.  That’s how important 9/11 Health Watch is to victims and her families.  

This year 9/11 Health Watch honored U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer and Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, and Peter King – the five original co-sponsors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. In addition, Sheila Birnbaum, former Special Master for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was honored.

“The five leaders we’re honoring tonight are a powerful rejoinder to those who believe government can’t make a difference in people’s lives. Indeed, without the leadership of Senators Gillibrand and Schumer and Representatives Maloney, Nadler, and King, many heroes and survivors of the 9/11 attacks would not be alive today,” said Suzy Ballantyne  a member of 9/11 Health Watch’s Board of Directors. “9/11 Health Watch will continue to support federal 9/11 aid programs and advocate for everyone affected by the attacks. We’re dedicated to making sure our government delivers on its long term commitment to the health and well-being of 9/11 first responders, survivors, and their families. ”

It was a great night and the attorneys at Turley Hansen saw many of our brave clients there. One of my favorites is a fellow U.S. Air Force veteran like myself who is now fighting 9/11 related pancreatic cancer. He looks great and made the rounds of the dinner better than some of the politicians!

I was so surprised and humbled when he took his own Air Force American flag lapel pin off his jacket and put it on mine. This is the character of so many of the September 11th heroes I speak to every day. They inspire all of us to work harder on their claims.

God bless all September 11th victims and 9/11 Health Watch! Next stop – the fight for reauthorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for another 75 years to coincide with the timeline of World Trade Center Health Program.

Turley Hansen will be proud to support the new fight. See you there.

 

 

 

9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Appeals: What You Need to Know

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You have a right to file a 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Appeal if you disagree with a decision of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). For example, you may disagree with how the VCF calculated your award and ask for an increase in monetary compensation.  Or you may disagree that the VCF found your proof lacking to establish “eligibility” for any award whatsoever.

Filing an Appeal

When you receive the letter from the VCF with your eligibility or compensation decision, it will include an “appeal form”.  If you have a 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorney, you should talk to the attorney  immediately to discuss any potential need for a 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund appeal. To appeal the decision on your claim, you must complete and return the appeal form in its entirety within 30 days of the date of the decision letter.

If you appeal, the VCF will send you a letter with your assigned hearing date and time. Hearings are held in a non-adversarial manner.  This means that the hearing is informal. The goal of the hearing is to understand why you disagree with the Special Master’s original decision.

Although you will be required to testify under oath, you will not be put in a “witness box” and subjected to “cross-examination”, like a regular court of law. Hearings rarely last more than about one hour.

Your hearing will be conducted by the Special Master or a Hearing Officer appointed by her office. These Hearing Officers are highly qualified individuals who have been trained for 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund  proceedings. The objective of the hearing is to give you a chance to present information or evidence that you believe is necessary to support your appeal.

If you are represented by our office, one of our 9/11 lawyers will attend the hearing with you. We will present witnesses, if necessary, including expert witnesses.  We do not allow our paralegals to represent you at hearings. If you have a 9/11-related cancer, we will fight to make sure you obtain every penny you deserve.

Turley Hansen offers a “Free Second Opinion” service for claimants who might be unhappy with their 9/11 VCF decision, even if they were represented initially by another law firm. We recently spotted an error from another 9/11 law firm and we were able to increase our client’s award by over $800,000! 

 If you have questions about appealing a decision from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, please call us at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636). 

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