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Almost a year ago, over 50 types of cancer were deemed eligible for treatment under the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP). The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) followed suit and now allows certain cancers to be considered for compensation under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. If you have been diagnosed with a 9/11 related cancer, do you know if it has been certified through the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)?  Here are a few things you should be familiar with about the certification process and how this is important to your 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Claim.

If you have been diagnosed with a 9/11 related cancer, most likely you are being treated by either a private physician or through the World Trade Center Health Program. Typically, if you are receiving treatment by the WTCHP for cancer, then your cancer has already been certified by NIOSH. Check with your WTCHP nurse case manager to confirm this.

If you are treating with a private physician, then your cancer is most likely NOT certified by NIOSH. Your private doctor will be required to fill out a “physician form” stating the nature of your cancer and his or her opinion on whether or not your cancer is related to exposure from 9/11 toxins. Once your doctor completes the “physician form” it is then submitted to NIOSH for a decision on certification.

Even though you are seeing a private doctor for your 9/11 related cancer, it is recommended that you enroll in the World Trade Center Health Program. You can still treat with your private doctor while attending the WTCHP. Your private doctor may not necessarily have the familiarity and understanding of how certain cancers are linked to 9/11 toxin exposure.

The WTCHP doctors specialize in 9/11 related cancers and other 9/11 related conditions. They have the knowledge and experience with these specific cancers and are experts at determining if your cancer is most likely related to exposure from 9/11 toxins and debris. They can help you through the process of requesting certification on your behalf. It is very IMPORTANT to understand that without certification through NIOSH, your cancer cannot be claimed for compensation through the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

If you need more information about the certification process through NIOSH or need assistance in filing a claim with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund under the Zadroga Act, 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.