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9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Lawyer

If you suffer from a 9/11-related physical injury or condition, an attorney from the Shapiro Legal Group, PLLC, can help you file a claim through the Victims Compensation Fund (VCF). 

When the World Trade Center (WTC) towers collapsed on September 11, 2001, it caused an enormous cloud of dust to linger above the lower Manhattan area, and slowly made its way southeast, to cover areas of Brooklyn as well. In this cloud were many hazardous toxins such as asbestos, lead, glass fiber, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pulverized cement dust, and more. Thousands of people were exposed to this hazardous dust and deadly toxins and as a result, are currently experiencing severe health problems. 

If you were exposed and are now suffering from a related illness, contact the Shapiro Legal Group, PLLC, today to learn more about your options. 

Zadroga Act Resources

To immediately access the resources at any point on this page, please click the corresponding links below.

Who Was James Zadroga?
James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act
Who May Be Eligible for Compensation?
WTC Eligible Conditions
How Our Zadroga Act Attorney Can Assist With a Claim
What is the 9/11 Exposure Zone?
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Zadroga Act Attorney

Who Was James Zadroga?

James Zardroga was a New York Police Detective and served over 400 hours at Ground Zero after the towers collapsed, helping with cleanup and rescue operations. Unfortunately, he developed a chronic cough, trouble breathing, acid reflux, and frequent headaches not long after his efforts at Ground Zero. When he reported his injuries to the NYPD in 2002, his claim was denied. 

Zardroga continued to report for duty with the NYPD after his claim was denied, but within a few months, he was bedridden. His health began to rapidly deteriorate, and he relied on an oxygen tank to breathe. Despite their best efforts, doctors could not diagnose or effectively treat his condition. It was not until 2003 that doctors diagnosed him with Black Lung Disease.

In 2006, five years after the towers fell, he passed away at the age of 34. 

What is the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act?

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act provides compensation and medical treatment for first responders and survivors of the 2001 WTC collapse. The Act was initially signed into law by President Obama in early 2011 and allotted over $2 billion in compensation for the injuries of 9/11 victims through the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). It also provided an additional $1.5 billion to fund medical treatment for WTC-related injuries. Under this initial act, funds were set to be available from October 2011-October 2016. 

In late 2015, congress authorized additional funds for compensation, totaling around $4.5 billion, and extended the availability of funds until 2020. This was known as the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act of 2015 and included a few significant changes from earlier versions of the act. The 2015 Reauthorization Act:

  • Removed the minimum award amount of $10,000
  • Capped non-economic losses for health conditions that were unrelated to cancer at $90,000
  • Capped non-economic losses for cancer at $250,000
  • Capped the annual gross income for each year of loss at $200,000
  • Prioritized benefit claims from 9/11 victims with the most serious health conditions

In 2019, the Zadroga Reauthorization Act was signed into law by President Trump. This third reauthorization extended the availability of funds until October 2090 and removed the cap on non-economic damages under certain circumstances.

Funds under the Zadroga Reauthorization Act are available for every eligible first responder or survivor of the 9/11 WTC collapse who suffers from a related cancer or health condition. Victims usually have two years to register with the VCF from the date their illness is certified by the World Trade Center Health Program. 

Who May Be Eligible for Compensation?

Those eligible for compensation include survivors, first responders, and those who were exposed to the area shortly after the WTC collapse. 

For those who have not already filed a claim under the WTC Victims Compensation Fund, they may qualify for compensation if they were:

  • Present within the NYC “exposure zone” sometime between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002
  • Diagnosed or have symptoms of a “WTC-related condition”

For those who have already filed a claim that was settled, dismissed, or withdrawn prior to  November 16, 2016, they may be entitled to compensation or additional compensation, if:

  • The victim has a condition that did not previously qualify for compensation but is now included in the list
  • The victim is diagnosed with a 9/11-related injury that is new
  • The victim’s 9/11 injury or condition has substantially worsened over time
  • The victim’s injury or condition has caused them to incur new or additional economic losses 
  • The victim has acquired new information that supports their claim that was not submitted to the VCF when the award was given the first time
  • The victim’s original claim failed to account for all of their loss (such as loss of earnings, medical expenses, replacement services, etc)
  • The victim did not previously submit medical records with the claim, and now has recent medical records that demonstrate the severity of his/her condition

It is important to note that if the person was deceased at the time of the initial settlement, they are not eligible to reapply.

WTC Eligible Conditions

If you suffer from any of the following conditions, you may be eligible for compensation. 

Aerodigestive Disorders, including:  

  • Asthma
  • Chronic cough syndrome
  • Chronic laryngitis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Reactive airway dysfunction syndrome (RADS)
  • Sleep apnea (medically associated with another airway or digestive disorder)
  • And more

Many types of cancer will qualify, including:

  • Head & Neck
  • Mesothelioma
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Soft Tissue
  • Skin (Non-Melanoma)
  • Melanoma
  • Digestive System
  • Respiratory System
  • Rare Cancers – defined as “any type of cancer that occurs in less than 15 cases per 100,000 persons per year in the United States.” 
  • Female Reproductive Organs
  • Urinary System
  • Eye & Orbit
  • Thyroid
  • Blood & Lymphoid Tissue
  • Childhood Cancers
  • Breast

Our Zadroga Act & 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney Can Assist With a Claim

The Shapiro Legal Group has extensive experience representing clients who have suffered serious injuries due to toxic products. We can meet with you to hear your story, offer guidance throughout the claims process, and assist you in advocating for your legal right to compensation. Whether you have already filed for VCF compensation before, or you are filing for the first time, we have a deep understanding of the guidelines and process and can help you navigate them to get the most compensation possible for your 9/11-related injury or illness.

What is the 9/11 Exposure Zone?

The 9/11 exposure zone is “ground zero.” The VCF website defines the exposure zone as “the area in Manhattan south of the line that runs along Canal Street from the Hudson River to the intersection of Canal Street and East Broadway, north on East Broadway to Clinton Street, and east on Clinton Street to the East River.”

This area exposed people to certain toxic dust and debris. The exposure zone also includes:

  • Any location that is connected to the transportation or disposal of debris, including but not limited to barges and the Fresh Kills landfill situated in Staten Island
  • Any location used by employees of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City (“OCME”) involved in the examination and handling of human remains, or locations used by morgue workers who handled human remains 
  • Any location used for the repair, cleaning, or rehabilitation of vehicles and equipment that were contaminated by WTC-related debris

The full NYC Exposure Zone Map can be found here.

Speak to an Experienced Zadroga Act & 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Lawyer Today

The Shapiro Legal Group offers our sincerest condolences if you or a loved one suffer from an illness or injury due to the 9/11 WTC collapses. If you think you or a loved one may be eligible for compensation, contact our Zadroga Act & 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorney today for assistance.