Downtown Manhattan Workers

VCF Eligibility for Downtown Manhattan Residents

By Troy Rosasco

Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives on 9/11 during the worst terrorist attack in recorded history. Since then, several thousand people have died because of 9/11-related illnesses and cancers, including residents who lived in the area in the months that followed the attacks. 

Many downtown residents never connect their breathing the 9/11 dust and fumes to cancers or other illnesses that are diagnosed years or even over a decade later. The lower Manhattan residents often mistakenly believe that the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (the VCF)  provides payments to only first responders when, in fact, the VCF includes and provides substantial payments to people who worked and lived Downtown either on 9/11 or any time during the many months after. 

If you lived, worked, or went to school in Lower Manhattan after September 11, 2001, you remember the fear, the chaos, and the destruction. You remember the thick dust cloud that hung over the city and the jet fuel fires that burned day and night for more than three months.

During this time, City and state officials, as well as EPA officials, told residents of New York that it was safe. They promised that the air was safe to breathe during this time, so residents went back to their daily lives and tried to pick up the pieces. Those health and government officials were wrong. The air contained more than 2,500 contaminants that have led to thousands of New York residents suffering chronic and fatal illnesses, cancers, and respiratory medical conditions.

Residents of Lower Manhattan may find that they are eligible to recover compensation from the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). The VCF is a compensatory program that allows victims, survivors, and their families to recover compensation after suffering a 9/11-certified illness, cancer, or chronic medical condition. The list of qualifying illnesses and cancers is long. In fact, there are more than 70 cancers that have been definitively linked to exposure to the 9/11 dust and fumes.

According to the CDC, more than 400,000 people in Lower Manhattan were exposed to deadly toxins during 9/11. Unfortunately, just a quarter of people have enrolled in the programs that they may qualify for. Even worse, barely 9,000 residents have enrolled in these programs. This low enrollment is largely because many residents do not even realize they qualify for compensation and medical benefits.

For this reason, it is important to speak to an experienced and compassionate 9/11 lawyer at Hansen & Rosasco, LLP immediately. We dedicated our entire practice to helping 9/11 survivors and their families. Our team of lawyers can quickly evaluate your case to determine if you may obtain compensation through the VCF. Many of our clients are surprised to learn how large of the payment they qualify for! Since this program is fully funded, you can collect the compensation you deserve without worrying about depleting funds from first responders.

Zadroga Act Lawyers Representing Downtown Manhattan Residents

We have met and represented many Downtown Manhattan residents whose lives were turned upside down—all while trying to go back to their normal lives in their own homes. We know that on September 18, 2001, Christine Todd Whitman, former EPA head, swore to the world that it was safe, which it was not. And the federal government, over a decade later, admits that these residents have the right to 9/11 Fund payouts for their 9/11-related cancer or other illness.

The 9/11 attorneys at Hansen & Rosasco, LLP have represented thousands of downtown workers and residents and helped them get payments and lifetime health benefits.

One of our clients was a Battery Park area resident who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her cancer required a double mastectomy. We were able to win her $1.1 million in tax-free 9/11 Fund payout from the Victim Compensation Fund. This award brought small relief to the client, however, who was suffering tremendously from the exposure she experienced while simply living in her own home.

We also represented the family of a Battery Park resident after their loved one died of lung cancer caused by the 9/11 toxins. We were able to secure an award in the amount of $884,000 for the family, which helped them financially after the loss of their loved one.

Some of our other most notable cases include:

  • $600,000 for the 9/11 death of a Lower Manhattan resident who died of thymus cancer
  • $340,000 for a Downtown Manhattan resident suffering from thyroid cancer
  • $250,000 for Chinatown resident with lung cancer
  • $250,000 for Downtown Manhattan resident with bladder cancer

Our law firm has decades of combined experience representing New Yorkers, including thousands of 9/11 clients. We have recovered hundreds of million of dollars for our clients from the VCF to date. If you have questions about VCF eligibility, contact the 9/11 VCF lawyers at Hansen & Rosasco, LLP today at (855) 353-4907 for a FREE claim evaluation.

Residential Eligibility for VCF Compensation

To file a claim, you must register with the VCF by the registration deadline. However, we urge everyone to begin the process as soon as possible to improve your chances of making a successful claim. As the years pass, it is becoming more and more difficult to gather the proof necessary to file a successful claim — the witnesses move or pass away, records are lost or destroyed — making it difficult to prove a 9/11 claim. 

Eligible residents must meet the following criteria before filing a claim:

  • A resident of the Exposure Zone. The VCF Exposure Zone includes the Lower Manhattan area below Canal Street, west to the Hudson River, and east below Clinton Street to the East River.  The WTC Health Program Exposure Zone is larger and includes lower Manhattan up to Houston Street and Brooklyn Heights.
  • Resident during the specified time. You must be a resident in the Exposure Zone between 9/11/01 and 05/31/02.
  • Diagnosed with a 9/11 covered illness. You must already have a World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) approved and qualifying illness, cancer, or medical condition. We help get you accepted into the WTCHP. 

To gain eligibility for 9/11 Fund payouts, you must collect proper Proof of Presence documents. You can visit our Proof of Presence in the NYC “Exposure Zone” page here. Our 9/11 VCF lawyers will help you gather proper documentation for both the VCF and the WTC Health Program.

Our Zadroga Act lawyers have secured 9/11 Fund payouts for thousands of Downtown Manhattan workers and residents who continue to be diagnosed with cancers and conditions related to their exposure to 9/11 toxins. These clients just wanted to try and resume as normal a life as possible. This of course is difficult, as they were not aware of the danger that surrounded them in the days and months after the attacks.

Our lawyers do nothing but help victims, residents, and survivors of 9/11 obtain the medical benefits and compensation they need – and deserve. We have been fighting for their rights since the World Trade Centers fell on September 11th. Our 9/11 law team personally experienced the devastation of those attacks and we lost loved ones in the tragedy and in the years that passed. This enables us to give our clients personalized and compassionate guidance through the claims process.

A complex system of federal regulations, combined with ever-changing 9/11 laws makes the registration and application process difficult. We know the fastest way to go through the VCF process, so we can get you the compensation you need as quickly as possible.

On average, a VCF claim can take between 18and 24months to process and reach a determination and payment of an award. While the VCF reviews claims in order – first come, first served – there are ways to expedite the process if you suffer from a terminal condition or have extreme financial hardship. At Hansen & Rosasco, LLP, we can help you if you suffer from a life-threatening or terminal condition. Our law firm can establish the criteria necessary to get your 9/11 VCF claim expedited and pushed through quickly.

Were You a Resident of Lower Manhattan During 9/11?

If you lived or worked in Lower Manhattan during the months that followed 9/11/01, you may qualify for VCF funds. Lower Manhattan below Canal Street is considered the Exposure Zone. Residents in those neighborhoods may qualify for VCF funds.

Some of those neighborhoods and areas could include:

  • Financial District or Wall Street
  • World Trade Center Site
  • Battery Park
  • City Hall
  • South Street Seaport historic district
  • Tribeca
  • Chinatown
  • Two Bridges
  • Five Points
  • Little Italy
  • Civic Center
  • Radio Row

Even if you are not sure if your neighborhood qualifies, it is important to speak to one of our lawyers to review your case. There are other ways to qualify for VCF compensation, including if you worked, went to school, volunteered, or aided in rescue, recovery, or cleanup efforts.

9/11 Illnesses and Medical Conditions in Residents

A month after 9/11, roughly 50 percent of residents living in the Exposure Zone said they experienced nose, throat, or eye irritation. Respiratory hospital admissions increased during the first week of 9/11 in areas close to the WTC site. Most notably, admissions related to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases also increased during that time.

Five to six years following the 9/11 attacks, eight percent of residents enrolled in the WTC Health Registry reported new diagnoses of asthma. The intense dust cloud that resulted in a heavy coating of dust in many homes contributed to these diagnoses.

In the five to seven years that followed 9/11, more than 2,000 residents sought care for respiratory symptoms due to 9/11 exposure. Of those nearly one-third had below-normal pulmonary functioning similar to those who participated in the WTC rescue, recovery, and cleanup efforts. Abnormal lung functioning was found in Lower Manhattan residents 8 years after the exposure.

Researchers determined there was a direct association between chronic WTC exposure and lower respiratory symptoms in Lower Manhattan residents up to 6 years post 9/11. Residents were 2 to 3 times more likely to say that a thick layer of dust covered much of their homes during those months. In addition, 25 percent of residents enrolled in the study reported suffering from both respiratory symptoms and PTSD in the 6 years that followed 9/11.

Compensation for Downtown Manhattan Residents

Many are not aware that Downtown Manhattan residents are eligible for payouts from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). For many of these residents, it turned out to be the worst life-changing experience possible to be told by Christine Todd Whitman of the EPA that it was safe for them to return home in the days and weeks after the terrorist attacks. Many individuals and families tried to resume their regular lives after September 11, 2001, which included going back to their apartments and homes. We know now that this air was not safe to breathe, and the water was not safe to drink. In short, the EPA lied.

Today, many Downtown Manhattan residents suffer from the very same types of cancer that have afflicted first responders and cleanup and recovery workers. That is because both residents and first responders were exposed to the same asbestos and other toxins in the air.

On December 18, 2015, the “Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act” passed and extended medical benefits for all members through 2090. Now, victims and survivors have even more time to receive the medical monitoring, benefits, and healthcare they deserve.

The 9/11 Lawyers at Hansen & Rosasco, LLP Can Help

Were you a Downtown Manhattan Resident between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002?

Are you a resident of Downtown Manhattan whose has been diagnosed with any type of cancer since then or whose health has been affected by 9/11?

If so, the 9/11 lawyers at Hansen & Rosasco, LLP can help. We opened our doors to victims, survivors, and families of 9/11 just weeks after the attacks and we never looked back.

Our law firm prides itself on helping 9/11 survivors obtain the benefits, medical care, and compensation they deserve. From the moment you step into our offices, you will realize how much we truly care. This compassionate and dedicated legal guidance is one reason why so many 9/11 victims and their families contact Hansen & Rosasco, LLP to help them through the eligibility and application process.

Posted under: The Victims' Compensation Fund

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