Recently, we’ve written about the unjust struggles that many 9/11 first responders and recovery workers have had in their efforts to obtain disability and workers’ compensation benefits to which they are entitled. To add insult to injury, an increasing number of these heroes are facing another battle, this time in obtaining pension benefits.
As recently reported in The Chief, one of the top doctors in the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) is ringing alarm bells about the negative health effects to 9/11 responders and workers caused by the staggering rate of pension benefit denials.
Dr. Michael Crane, the Medical Director of the Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health at The Mount Sinai Hospital and of the WTC Health Program Clinical Center of Excellence at Mount Sinai, has expressed outrage about the additional stress put on patients by having to battle bureaucracy and red tape to get benefits:
“The last thing we want to do for people that have had exposure to the World Trade Center toxins is to increase their anxieties about anything,” Crane said. “We try and tell folks to take things one day at a time and take care of their issues and that we can help and support them…If, in fact, the various institutional situations they run into increase those tensions, it is something else we have to deal with, and the people have to deal with.”
In November, it was disclosed that both the New York City Employees’ Retirement System and the New York State and Local Retirement System, which combined provide pension benefits to the estimated 90,000 responders and recovery workers who may be suffering from 9/11-related conditions, have been denying claims more than they have been allowing them. The boards say they simply don’t have the staff or expertise to properly handle and evaluate 9/11 pension claims.
That is cold comfort to those unable to work or approaching retirement age who can’t get the pension benefits they need and deserve. These pension problems can also have a ripple effect and complicate their efforts to obtain optimal payment from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
We Fight Tirelessly for 9/11 Victims, First Responders, and Recovery Workers
Stories like this are outrageous. Those who are suffering life-altering cancers, illnesses and other conditions because of their efforts after 9/11 should not be subjected to such mistreatment. While claims for compensation, benefits, or treatment understandably have certain procedures that need to be followed and criteria that need to be met, all too often claimants are met with unnecessary and unjust roadblocks.
Clearing those roadblocks and getting 9/11 victims the resources they deserve has been the defining and sole mission of Turley Hansen & Partners since shortly after the Towers fell. Our extensive experience and deep commitment to 9/11 victims has resulted in the recovery of over $75 million in compensation on behalf of over 1,200 clients.
If you have questions about 9/11 victim compensation, disability claims, workers’ compensation, or pension benefits, please contact Turley Hansen today and request a FREE CLAIM REVIEW with one of our experienced 9/11 lawyers. Call 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636) today. We look forward to assisting you.