Since the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) was first established, additional illnesses and medical complications have continued to be added to the list of conditions eligible for Zadroga Act compensation. As with all VCF claims, individuals with newly-added conditions who wish to register with the VCF and preserve a claim for compensation must do so within strict registration deadlines. Failure to register within the times established under the Zadroga Act could result in the loss of any ability to obtain compensation for the victim and their family.
General VCF Deadlines: Two-Years From Determination That Illness Was 9/11-Related
Generally, a VCF claim is considered to have been registered on time if it was submitted within two years of the date on which the claimant knew or reasonably should have known:
- That the victim suffered a physical harm because of the 9/11 attacks, or debris removal in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, and
- That the claimant was eligible to file a claim with the VCF.
For most claims, the VCF will use the date on which a federal, state, or local government entity determined that a physical injury or medical condition was 9/11-related as the date when the clock starts running on the two-year registration deadline. This means the date that either (i) the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) “certified” a cancer or other condition, or (ii) the date that a state workers’ compensation board or a government employer (such as the FDNY, NYPD, or NYCERS) found a condition as 9/11-related for purposes of awarding a disability pension.
COPD and Acute Traumatic Injury Added to Eligible WTCHP Conditions in 2016
After conducting a review of numerous studies regarding potential evidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and acute traumatic injury among 9/11 survivors and first responders, the WTCHP Administrator concluded that there was substantial evidence to support a connection between these conditions and 9/11 exposures. As a result, in 2016, new-onset COPD and acute traumatic injury were added to the list of WTC-Related Health Conditions eligible for coverage in the WTCHP.
The VCF registration deadlines for new-onset COPD are:
- If certified as 9/11-related by the WTCHP or other governmental entity on or before August 4, 2016, the registration deadline is August 4, 2018.
- If certified as 9/11-related by the WTCHP or other governmental entity on or after August 5, 2016, the registration deadline is two years after the Registration Start Date, but no later than December 18, 2020.
Although the WTCHP did not add acute traumatic injury to its list of WTC-Related Health Conditions until August 2016, the VCF decided that it will keep the October 3, 2013 registration deadline for acute traumatic injuries certified as 9/11-related by the WTCHP or other governmental entity on or before August 4, 2016.
If the acute traumatic injury was certified as 9/11-related by the WTCHP or other governmental entity on or after October 4, 2011, the registration deadline is two years after the Registration Start Date, but no later than December 18, 2020.
If you have questions or concerns regarding claims for compensation under the Zadroga Act or VCF registration and claim filing deadlines, please call Turley, Hansen & Rosasco, LLP at 1-855-WTC-INFO (982-4636) or fill out our contact form to schedule a free claim review today.