The effects of the September 11th attacks were felt across the country and around the world. But only those victims, first responders, and recovery workers who were present at or around a 9/11 crash site at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, or Shanksville, Pennsylvania are eligible to receive Zadroga Act compensation. In order to have a viable claim for compensation from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), your application must contain sufficient proof that you were indeed present at one of the sites. The WTC lawyers at Turley, Hansen & Rosasco have worked with thousands of 9/11 victims and their families to prepare and submit all necessary information and documentation to prove crash site presence so they can receive the compensation they need and deserve.
Crash Site Presence Defined
Only individuals who were present at a 9/11 crash site or in locations of debris removal at the time of – or in the immediate aftermath of – the terrorist-related aircraft crashes. “Immediate aftermath” is defined as “any period beginning with the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001 and ending on May 30, 2002.”
In addition to the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Shanksville and “the buildings or portions of buildings that were destroyed as a result of the attacks,” VCF compensation may be available for people who were in the “NYC Exposure Zone” which is defined 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; AND
- Any area related to, or along, routes of debris removal, such as barges and Fresh Kills.
Additionally, some individuals who were not present at a defined “crash site” may be VCF-eligible if they came into contact with debris as part of recovery efforts. Specifically:
- Morgue workers involved in the examination and handling of human remains from the World Trade Center attacks, even if the actual work was performed outside of the NYC Exposure Zone.
- Workers involved in the repair, cleaning, or rehabilitation of vehicles or equipment, including emergency vehicle radio equipment owned by the City of New York, that was contaminated by WTC-related debris at or along one of the official routes for the transfer of debris.
Documents and Information Needed to Prove Crash Site Presence
The VCF has identified the most frequently submitted documentation that they rely on to make a determination as to crash site presence and VCF eligibility. These documents include:
- Sworn and notarized affidavit from the claimant or others who can verify crash site presence
- Letter from employer confirming work at the site
- Official personnel roster
- Pay stubs confirming employment and used in conjunction with other documents
- Orders, instructions, site credentials, confirmation of tasks performed Sworn Employer Verification Form
- Rental agreement
- Proof of rent payment
- Mortgage receipts
- Utility bills
- School or day care records confirming enrollment or attendance
- Workers injury reports documenting treatment as a result of injury that occurred at the site
- Medical records documenting treatment as a result of injury that occurred at the site
- Personal statement including as much detail as possible
If you are relying on affidavits to prove your presence, there are extremely detailed requirements for what must be contained in the document in order for it to be deemed sufficient. Additionally, if you submit affidavits to demonstrate your crash site presence on or after 9/11, you must submit affidavits from a minimum of two people and at least one must be from an individual who is not related to you.
A common reason for 9/11 victim compensation denials or delays is the failure to submit sufficient information and documentation with the initial application, including documentation to support proof of presence. This is just one reason that over 80% of claimants applying for VCF compensation choose to be represented by an attorney.
Since the passage of the original Zadroga Act in 2010, Turley, Hansen & Rosasco has recovered over $75 million in 9/11 victim compensation for over 1200 clients. We are the only law firm in the nation that focuses exclusively on representing victims and first responders for their 9/11 related illnesses and injuries. Please call us at 1-855-WTC-INFO (982-4636) or fill out our contact form to schedule a free claim review today.