3,700 Ground Zero Responders and Others Around USA Have 9/11 Linked Cancers

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Those afflicted with 9/11-related cancers has hit the staggering number of 3,700. This number includes New York Fire Department members, New York policemen, other Ground Zero responders and downtown workers and residents who survived the tragic bombing. Many of these victims of 9/11 have more than one type of cancer. Dr. David Prezant, chief medical officer of the New York Fire Department says more than 2,100 firefighters and EMS personnel have retired on disability, primarily with various types of cancer and lung disease. Forty-four New York Fire Department responders died from cancer related to 9/11, while another 65 died from other World Trade Center-linked illnesses.

 

Blood cancers as well as thyroid, prostate and colon cancers have been more prevalent among the New York Fire Department members who were first responders during 9/11 than those Fire Department members who were not. As an example, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma struck the Deputy Chief of the FDNY, Thomas Riley, and later formed a tumor behind Riley’s right eye. Riley was on vacation when the 9/11 bombing occurred. He rushed back to New York, leading his troops to Ground Zero. Riley says he and his crew dug for survivors until 3:00 a.m., returning every day for months to search for remains. Riley notes that debris was flying into the eyes of the first responders every day they worked in the area.

 

Last fall, Riley began experiencing bouts of fatigue, and in December 2014, friends noticed his right eye was drooping. Riley’s doctor diagnosed a lymphatic orbital mass. Radiation has shrunk the tumor, however Riley’s eyes have been left vulnerable to wind, dust and bright light and must use eye drops to deal with the pain. Riley has joined other responders and victims to lobby Congress in an effort to extend the 9/11 Victim’s Compensation Fund which will ensure those affected by 9/11 will receive necessary medical treatment for 9/11-related illnesses.

 

Lives Continue to Be Claimed by 9/11

In fact, nearly fourteen years after one of the most shocking, heartbreaking events in American History, lives are still being claimed by 9/11. According to Health Watch, 30,000 first responders developed an injury or illness which could be directly linked to 9/11.  Nearly nine years after the World Trade Center Bombing, legislation was passed to help these first responders, and later that legislation was re-booted, thanks to the Zadroga Act. Unfortunately, there are still many 9/11 cases pending, and the fund which compensates victims of 9/11 is set to run out of money in 2016. Congress must take action in order to ensure those who suffered 9/11-related illnesses will be compensated rather than leaving them with disabling diseases and illnesses.

How Many 9/11 Victims May Not Be Compensated?

Out of the 19,721 submissions from injured first responders and survivors, 11,770 have been deemed eligible for compensation, 942 have been deemed ineligible, and the remainder have not had a determination made regarding eligibility. Some research indicates the incidence of cancer among survivors and first responders of the 9/11 bombing attack is more than twice as high as among other Americans.

 

One study examined the health records of 10,000 first responder NY firefighters, finding they were 19 percent more likely to develop cancer than those who were not present at the World Trade Center bombing site. Exposure to the dust, debris and chemicals at the site vastly increased the likelihood of cancer; Dr. Prezant notes the cement dust at Ground Zero had a pH between 10 and 11, meaning it was akin to “inhaling powdered Drano.” It is expected there will be more and more 9/11-related illnesses as time passes, and it is extremely important there is money available to take care of those who develop these illnesses.

 

We all have a duty to make sure that the sick heroes of 9/11, especially those with 9/11 cancers, have professional legal representation and that this sordid mess does not hurt the ongoing valiant efforts to Extend the 9/11 James Zadroga Act.

 

Please help us tell Congress that we need the 9/11 Zadroga Act extended by clicking here. Thank you. 

9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Streamlines Claim Process to Further Reduce Delays

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Great news today for 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund claimants.  The VCF, in its ongoing successful efforts to process claims more quickly for 9/11 victims, issued a list of new "Claims Management System Enhancements" effective August 2015.

I think the most important changes for claimants are:

  • easier online registration changing many questions from "required" to "optional";
  • reduced number of "eligibility" questions;
  • reduced number of required "compensation" questions;
  • revamped document checklists with a new layout which is easier to navigate;

The most important changes for attorneys representing claimant's before the VCF are related to the automatic transfer of information from original "personal injury claims" to new "death claims" which should significantly speed up the process and spare additional heartache for the surviving family members.

The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund has already processed thousands of claims and awarded over $1.3 billion to date. These new enhancements should continue the admirable strides the Fund has made since it first opened. Its always nice to see our government working efficiently to give heroes what they deserve.

The 9/11 VCF attorneys at Turley Hansen & Partners ask that all those affected by 9/11 across the country to support the effort to Extend the 9/11 James Zadroga Act so that all future 9/11 related cancer victims can obtain medical care and be fully compensated for their economic loss.

Please click here to help protect these heroes. Thank you.

 

9/11 Attorney Troy Rosasco Discusses Zadroga Claims with LXBN TV

As we approach the 13th anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, there is still a lingering effect on those who not only still suffer from the loss of loved ones, but also from the numerous illnesses caused by the exposure to toxins in the air which remained for quite some time after 9/11.

I recently had the opportunity to discuss 9/11 Zadroga claims with Colin O'Keefe of LXBN. In the interview, I explain how the attacks of 9/11 are still impacting recovery workers and their families, and what we're doing in trying to help them. 

Today, many 9/11 first responders, survivors and area workers have been suffering with breathing complications such as chronic sinusitis, COPD and other pulmonary diseases. Alarmingly, there has been an increasing number of 9/11 related cancers. They have been surfacing over the past few years in staggering numbers among those exposed. Since the ruling that was passed back in October of 2012 to include cancer as a 9/11 covered condition under the Zadroga Act, there are now 62 different types of cancers recognized as a 9/11 related.

There is a registration deadline for cancer claims approaching for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and were in and around the “crash zone area” between the dates of September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002, you may be entitled to compensation under the Zadroga Act. You must register by October 12, 2014 in order to protect yourself in filing a future 9/11 related cancer claim.

 

Should you have any questions about 9/11 cancers or need help filing your VCF claim, please feel free to call, click the chat button or contact us at the top of this page.

IMPORTANT – Do not register yourself if you have retained an attorney to assist you in the filing of your claim. Your attorney should have already registered your claim. Multiple registration numbers will delay the processing of your claim. Check with your attorney to verify your registration status.  If you are a current client of Turley Hansen & Partners, please rest assured that your claim has been timely registered.

 

 

4 More Cancers Officially Covered Under Zadroga Act

 

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Four more cancers are now covered for treatment under the Zadroga Act effective immediately. The cancers now included are brain cancer, cervical cancer, pancreatic cancer and testicular cancer. The official announcement was made on April 21st after a proposed rule was issued on February 18th by the administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program and Dr. John Howard, Director of NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health).

If you were a first responder, survivor, area worker or resident who was diagnosed with any of the newly listed cancers, you may be entitled to free care and treatment through the World Trade Center Health Program. In addition, you may also be eligible for monetary compensation under the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).

If you have been diagnosed with any 9/11 related cancer or illness, it is important to register with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund as soon as possible to reserve your right to file a future claim. Specific registration deadline dates apply for different circumstances. For more information about registration deadline dates and which ones apply to you, click here. 

It is also important to make sure that if you plan on applying to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, that your illnesses have been certified by the World Trade Center Health Program. Certification is an eligibility requirement of the VCF.

Although Special Master Sheila Birnbaum of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund has not officially made an announcement to add the new cancers to the list of eligible conditions, it is expected that she will move forward and include them for compensation as she most recently has with prostate cancer.

There are now over 65 different types of cancers that are recognized as 9/11 related. Last week, Newsday reported on the subject and wrote,  "a study of 55,778 responders and residents published in the Journal of the Amercian Medical Association in December 2012 found an increased risk of cancer just among the responders and only for prostate cancer, thyroid cancer, and myeloma compared with the general population." They also noted that researchers recommend that the study should be viewed as short-term because cancers can take decades to develop after expsosure to toxins. For example, according to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund latency guideline, mesothelioma can take up to 11 years after toxic exposure to surface.

Should you have any questions about 9/11 cancers or need help filing your VCF claim, please feel free to call, click the chat button or contact us at the top of this page. 

Angela Luongo, a Paralegal with Turley, Hansen & Partners contributed to the writing of this post. 

 

9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Registration: Important Information You Need To Know If You Missed The October 3rd Registration Deadline

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According to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund’s registration guidelines, as of October 3, 2011, those who knew or should have reasonably known of physical harm resulting from the 9/11 terrorist attacks should have registered by last Thursday, October 3, 2013. If you have not registered with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and you meet the following criteria as shown in the chart below, you may still be eligible to register and file a claim.

Please keep in mind that there is a difference between REGISTERING and FILING a claim with the VCF.

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If you have a 9/11 related cancer and you were diagnosed before October 12, 2012 you have until October 12, 2014 to register with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Should the 9/11 Victim Compensation add any other illnesses as a covered condition, you will have 2 years from the date the illness was added, but no later than October 3, 2016, which is when the VCF officially closes. For example, prostate cancer will officially be added as a covered illness under the Zadroga Act as of October 21, 2013. Anyone who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer must register with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund no later than October 21, 2015.

If you are unsure if any of the registration deadline dates pertain to you, or if you need more information on how to file a claim with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, feel free to call, click the chat button or request to be contacted at the top of this page.

Angela Luongo, a Paralegal with Turley, Hansen & Partners contributed to the writing of this post.

 

Prostate Cancer Now a Covered Illness Under The 9/11 Zadroga Act

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Last week, World Trade Center Health Program Administrator, Dr. John Howard, finalized the proposed rule in adding prostate cancer to the list of 9/11 related conditions covered under the Zadroga Bill and will take effect on October 21st. There are already over 50 other types of 9/11 related cancers covered under the bill since October, 2012.

A recent study conducted by the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) showed that those who were exposed to 9/11 toxins have a 15% higher risk of getting prostate cancer as well as thyroid and blood cancers when compared to others who were not exposed.  The WTCHP has not yet announced the earliest acceptable date of diagnosis for applicants who have prostate cancer. The chart below shows diagnosis dates and minimum latency required for all other covered cancers.

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Even though the addition of prostate cancer will not go into effect until October 21st, it is still very important to register with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). The deadline for registration is October 3, 2013, which is only a few days away.  By registering with the VCF, you are preserving your right to file a future claim for any 9/11 related illness.  According to the latest statistics posted by the  9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, 30,309 people have registered as of September 15, 2013.

If you are not yet enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program, it is recommended that you do so.  Not only will you receive free health care for your 9/11 related cancer as well as other 9/11 related illnesses, it is also helpful in your 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Claim. The doctors at the WTCHP specialize in 9/11 related illnesses and the VCF requires that all illnesses are certified by the World Trade Center Health Program through NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety) when filing a claim.

For more information about the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and how you can get free health care and compensation under the Zadroga Bill, feel free to call, click the chat button or request to be contacted at the top of this page.

Angela Luongo, a Paralegal with Turley, Hansen & Partners contributed to the writing of this post.

World Trade Center Health Program Marks 2nd Year Of Providing Free Health Care For 9/11 First Responders Under The Zadroga Bill

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The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) marked its second anniversary this month under the Zadroga Act.  Over 64,000 participants are receiving free health care for  9/11 related illnesses such as lung disease, sleep apnea, COPD and other ailments linked to 9/11 toxin exposure.

As of October, 2012, the WTCHP added 60 different cancers that are now covered for treatment. These cancers were also approved as a covered illness in the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). Just last week a proposed rule was put in place to inclue prostate cancer. It is anticipated that prostate cancer will be approved as a covered illness under the WTCHP by the end of this summer. It is also expected that the VCF will most likely follow suit.

Over the past 2 years, the WTCHP has made many positive changes within the program and has evolved to meet the needs of members. Recently, the WTCHP added medical monitoring and treatment for those who responded, volunteered and performed clean-up and recovery efforts in the attacks at the Pentagon in Arlington, VA and the airplane crash in Shanksville, PA.

If you live outside of the NYC Metro Area, you can still get the care you need. There is a nationwide provider network that can refer you to a World Trade Center Health Program doctor in your area.The WTHP has partnered with many other advocate groups in a campaign to reach as many people as possible who were exposed to 9/11 toxins and debris. The goal of the outreach program is to ensure that every single eligible person will be able to receive the free health care they deserve.

If you are not enrolled in the WTCHP, but you are treating with other doctors for your 9/11 related illnesses, you can still participate in the WTCHP.  Becoming a member of the WTCHP is an important step to take especially if you are applying to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.  The World Trade Center Health Program doctors are supportive and specialize in 9/11 related illnesses. This can be a benefit to your case. 

For more information about the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and how you can get free health care and compensation under the Zadroga Bill, feel free to call, click the chat button or request to be contacted at the top of this page. 


Angela Luongo, a Paralegal with Turley, Hansen & Partners contributed to the writing of this post.

Study Shows 9/11 First Responders Have 15% Higher Cancer Risk As Deadline For Zadroga Registration Nears

 

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The Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives recently published the findings of a 9/11 cancer research study. The study showed an increased cancer risk of 15 percent in 9/11 first responders. The study also revealed that the heightened risk pointed to three types of cancer; prostate, thyroid and blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma.

Currently, prostate cancer is not covered for treatment under the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP). However, last week a proposed rule was set forth and prostate cancer is anticipated to be added to the WTCHP as early as the end of this summer. Once prostate cancer is approved under the WTCHP, it is likely that Special Master Sheila Birnbaum will also consider adding prostate cancer as a covered illness under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).  

The following chart provided by the VCF outlines the 9/11 related cancers that are currently covered under the Zadroga Act.  

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If you were a first responder, resident or did any other type of work in the crash zone area which caused you to be exposed to toxins and debris, below is a quick guideline with links to help you take action and keep yourself protected under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010.

Register for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund
Even if you have not been diagnosed with cancer or any other 9/11 related illness, register for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.  By registering, you are allowing yourself to be able to submit a claim to the VCF should you get diagnosed with a 9/11 related illness in the future.  If you have already been diagnosed with a 9/11 related illness, it is even more urgent you register now. The VCF deadline for registering is October 3, 2013.

Apply to the WTC Health Program
If you have been diagnosed with a 9/11 related illness by an independent doctor or you think you may be sick from  9/11 toxin exposure, apply to the WTC Health Program and receive free health care for these illnesses. This is an especially important step for those who are planning to apply to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The VCF holds the WTC Health Program in high regard because the doctors specialize in 9/11 related illnesses. 

health care for your 9/11 related illness. This is an especially important step for those who are planning to apply to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The VCF holds the WTC Health Program in high regard because the doctors specialize in 9/11 related illnesses.
3. Ask Questions and stay informed
Should you have any questions or if you need help in registering and filing a claim with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, you can call, click the live chat button or submit a request to be contacted at the top of this page. health care for your 9/11 related illness. This is an especially important step for those who are planning to apply to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The VCF holds the WTC Health Program in high regard because the doctors specialize in 9/11 related illnesses.

Ask questions and stay informed
Should you have any questions or need help in registering or filing a claim with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, feel free to call, click the live chat button or submit a request to be contacted at the top of this page. 

 

Angela Luongo, a Paralegal with Turley, Hansen & Partners contributed to the writing of this post. 

 

Prostate Cancer Anticipated To Be Added As A Covered Cancer Under the World Trade Center Health Program

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The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) put forth a notice of proposed rulemaking today for the purpose of adding prostate cancer as a covered illness under the WTCHP. The proposed rule has been published for public comment through the United States Federal Register beginning today through August 1, 2013.

A petition for prostate cancer coverage under the WTCHP was organized by the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and given to World Trade Center Health Program Director, Dr. John Howard on May 2nd of this year.  The petition prompted Dr. Howard to review published studies that showed a link between increased risk of prostate cancer in 9/11 First Responders and exposure to World Trade Center toxins. As a result of his review, Dr. Howard made a recommendation that prostate cancer be added to the WTCHP. 


 Dr. Howard’s final decision on whether or not prostate cancer will be covered under the World Trade Center Health Program will be based on his examination of comments made under the published proposal. Should prostate cancer coverage receive approval, 9/11 First Responders or anyone who was exposed to World Trade Center toxins and debris, may be able to start receiving medical treatment for prostate cancer by late August of this year.

Please note that if you are currently suffering from prostate cancer and have not registered to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund under the James Zadroga Act, you should do so immediately. As Special Master Sheila Birnbaum of the VCF has done before, we expect her to follow Dr. Howard's lead and add prostate cancer to the list of eligible conditions for compensation awards from the VCF.

Should you need more information about 9/11 related cancers or whether or not you are eligible to register for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, feel free to call, click the live chat button or submit a request to be contacted at the top of this page.

 

Angela Luongo, a Paralegal with Turley, Hansen & Partners contributed to the writing of this post.

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