The unprecedented nature of the September 11th attacks resulted in unprecedented efforts to help the tens of thousands of individuals whose lives were upended on that horrible day and in the months and years that followed. The federal government established several programs specifically designed to provide resources, compensation, health care, and other assistance to survivors, the families of those who lost loved ones, first responders, and others who suffered health problems or losses related to the 9/11 attacks.
The two largest and most widely-known programs are the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) and the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP). But in addition to these federally-funded and run programs, the state of New York established a fund for the specific purpose of providing assistance to the thousands of volunteers who came to Ground Zero on or after 9/11 to assist with rescue and recovery operations.
The World Trade Center (WTC) Volunteer Fund was established in 2002 to provide benefits to volunteers who lost wages and developed health problems because of their volunteer work in the WTC rescue, recovery and clean-up efforts. The Volunteer Fund is run by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board as it is, in effect, a workers’ compensation program for volunteers who usually would not be eligible for such assistance.
While both the VCF and the Volunteer Fund provide compensation for losses suffered as a result of 9/11, the Volunteer Fund is much more limited both in terms of those who are eligible to receive compensation and the amount and kind of payment available.
Eligibility for the WTC Volunteer Fund
The VCF was established to provide compensation for individuals who suffered physical harm or for the families of those who died as a result of the September 11th attacks or the debris removal efforts that took place in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. This includes victims, first responders, and rescue and recovery workers.
By contrast, the only people who are eligible for the WTC Volunteer Fund are volunteers who participated in WTC rescue, recovery and clean-up efforts between September 11, 2001, and September 11, 2002, and who incurred lost wages and health-related problems due to their volunteer work at Ground Zero; Fresh Kills Landfill; the barges; the piers; and the morgues.
Benefits Available Through the WTC Volunteer Fund
The WTC Volunteer Fund provides payments to cover the cost of lost wages and health care expenses for those disabled as a result of their volunteer efforts. To apply for benefits, you must complete and submit a World Trade Center Volunteer’s Claim for Compensation (Form WTCVol-3) along with required supporting documentation, including proof of volunteer status and medical evidence of a causally related injury or illness from volunteering at one of the designated sites:
Volunteers who are receiving benefits through the WTC Volunteer Fund are also expected to enroll in the World Trade Center Health Program and to apply to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), both of which were established under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
Call Turley, Hansen & Rosasco Today to Discuss Your 9/11 Claims
If you were a 9/11 volunteer and have questions about 9/11 victim compensation, medical care, and other benefits which may be available, please contact Turley, Hansen & Rosasco, LLP. Our 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund lawyers work exclusively on behalf of 9/11 victims. Our extensive experience and deep commitment to 9/11 victims since shortly after the Towers fell has resulted in the recovery of over $75 million in 9/11 victim compensation on behalf of over 1,200 clients.