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.


Governor Cuomo Signs Bill To Re-open Registration For 9/11 Disability Pension And Workers' Compensation Claims

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On November 13, 2013, Gov. Cuomo signed a new important bill that extends the registration period for 9/11 workers' compensation claims to September 11, 2014. Ground Zero workers who were previously denied a workers’ compensation claim due to untimely filing by the previous deadline, can now re-file and open a new claim. The bill now includes ¾ disability pensions which were disregarded in the last bill. Certain public employees will now have the right to file for new 9/11 related disability pensions.

Those who participated in the rescue, recovery and cleanup efforts at Ground Zero between September 11, 2001 and September 11, 2002, are now eligible to preserve their right to file future workers’ compensation claims and ¾ disability pensions should  they become sick with a qualifying 911 related condition.Claimants must submit a WTC-12 Registration of Participation form no later than the deadline date of September 11, 2014. This may be especially beneficial to those who are not eligible to apply to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund because they worked in the areas of Ground Zero after May 30, 2002. 

It  is expected that the filing of new workers’ compensation claims and disability pensions will have an impact on pending 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund claims. It is strongly suggested that you speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer knowledgeable in 9/11 claims and disability pensions as soon as possible. Ground Zero workers should register as soon as possible in order to protect their rights to future medical care and compensation after the expiration of the World Trade Center Health Program and the Victim Compensation Fund which closes in 2016.

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board is currently reviewing their files to locate claims that were previously denied due to untimely registration. Claimants will be sent notification and instructions on what steps to take to initiate their claim.  Claimants who submit new WTC-12 Registration of Participation forms must keep in mind that postmarks will not be accepted. All registrations need to be in the hands of the Workers’ Compensation Board no later than the deadline date.  

If you need help in filing your 9/11 related workers’ compensation claim or ¾ disability pension claim you can 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.

Denial Of 9/11 Disability Pensions Overturned: Recent Victory For Two First Responders

Attorney Chet Lukaszewski, a vital member of Turley Hansen and Partners' 9/11 legal team, recently had a hand in reversing disability pension denials for two 9/11 First Responders. They can now receive the World Trade Center disability retirement pensions that they deserve. In an interview, Mr. Lukaszewski says, "The Appellate Division feels people should be awarded based on disability findings under the World Trade Center Presumptive Law."



9/11 Disability Pension Lawyer, Chet Lukaszewski

Under the World Trade Center Presumptive Law, an applicant who participated in the rescue, recovery and clean-up efforts may be entitled to a World Trade Center disability pension; for many uniformed civil servants, like Mr. Lukaszewski’s clients, an NYPD Detective and an FDNY-EMS EMT, that is a three quarter tax free pension. It presents a presumption that if you are or become permanently disabled due to certain conditions  and cannot perform your job responsibilities, then the condition is related to the World Trade Center disaster.  In short, the applicant does not have to present proof that his or her condition is related to September 11th and the aftermath.

Should the pension board disagree that the illness was 9/11 related, then it must provide solid medical evidence that proves the illness was caused by some other factor. The World Trade Center Presumptive Law also covers numerous ‘WTC qualifying conditions’, including cancer and psychological conditions.

The two individuals whom Mr. Lukaszewski represented, were diagnosed with illnesses such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other various mental ailments. The pension board ruled that the mental conditions were not related to their services at Ground Zero and so they were initiallly denied 9/11 disabiltiy pensions. Subsequently, Mr. Lukaszweski presented each case to the judges and it was deemed that the original denials were to be overturned. Click the link below to read the entire success story.

Two Denials Overturned -The_Chief_Story.pdf

In order to be eligible for a 9/11 disability pension, a World Trade Center Notice (RS6047-N) must have been filed with the New York State and Local Retirement System by September 11, 2010.

If  you have been denied a 9/11 disability pension or would like more information about 9/11 disability pensions and claims, feel free to call, click the chat button or request to be contacted at the top of this page.  Mr. Lukaszewski’s firm’s website is ChetLaw.com.

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

Lukaszewski Wins 9/11 WTC New York City Disability Pension Groundbreaking Case

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Chet Lukaszewski, a key strategic partner at Turley, Hansen & Partners, recently won another groundbreaking 9/11 WTC pension case - Matter of Dement v Kelly_ NYC Pension Fund.pdf.  This follows his big legal victory in a pension last year for a FDNY firefighter's widowGiven this string of legal victories, it can be said with some authority that Mr. Lukaszewski is perhaps the best municipal disability pension lawyer in New York.

The most recent case involved NYPD Lt. William Dement. After 9/11, Lt. Dement worked both at Ground Zero and the Fresh Kills landfill for months on end where he was exposed to the well known toxins.   Lt. Dement subsequently developed a multitude of breathing problems, including sleep apnea (all his medical conditions are currently covered under the new James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, including sleep apnea). He applied for a World Trade Center disability pension based upon all his breathing conditions.

Shockingly, the NYPD Pension Fund denied his disability pension saying that the sole cause of his disability was sleep apnea and that there was no evidence that this condition was 9/11 related! (I guess the Pension Fund and it's NYC lawyers did not talk to the medical doctors and scientists from the federal government who readily admit that sleep apnea can result from 9/11 conditions caused by toxic exposure).

In a sweeping unanimous ruling, the New York State Appellate Division for the First Department reversed the NYPD Pension Board stating that the Fund had unlawfully denied Lt. Dement's WTC disability pension. The Court ordered New York City to pay Lt. Dement the pension. 

Thank goodness municipal employees have zealous attorneys like Chet Lukaszewski righting the wrongs of the NYC Disability Pension system.  That's why Turley, Redmond Rosasco & Rosasco, LLP  sends all its NYC disability pension clients to Chet.

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Turley Hansen and Partners, LLP, is pleased to offer Zadroga Claims Info as a public resource for information on the compensation and health benefits available under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. Authored by a team of experienced attorneys...


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