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The NYS Workers’ Compensation Board‘s Office of the Advocate for Injured Workers has been a major supporter for World Trade Center Volunteers in receiving compensation for their illnesses and injuries related to the events of 9/11.  All claimants receiving benefits under the WTC Volunteer Fund are being encouraged by the Workers’ Compensation Board to apply for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Under the James Zadroga Act.


The World Trade Center Volunteer Fund and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) are two separate entities. The WTC Volunteer Fund was set up in 2002 by Congress to provide Workers’ Compensation benefits for unpaid Volunteers who assisted in clean-up, recovery and rescue efforts during the event of 9/11 and the aftermath. Typically, unpaid Volunteers are not entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits but an exception to the law was made for 9/11 Volunteers only.


The James Zadroga Act was signed on January 2, 2011 by President Obama in order to provide medical care and compensation to individuals who have suffered illnesses, injuries and death as a direct result of the events of 9/11 and the aftermath including clean-up, recovery and rescue efforts.  The Zadroga Act paved way for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 to be re-opened to new applicants.   Applying to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund will not forfeit any benefits provided by World Trade Center Volunteer Fund. All new applicants must register with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund no later than October 3, 2013.


The NYS Workers’ Compensation Board also encourages claimants to participate in the World Trade Center Health Program which is another segment to the James Zadroga Act. If you are planning to apply to the VCF, it is a good idea to participate in the WTC Health Program, not only for the benefit of free health care for your 9/11 related illnesses, but because it is recognized by the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund as an extremely valuable source of medical documentation when reviewing cases. The VCF holds the WTC Health Program in high regard because the doctors that participate in the World Trade Center Health program specialize in 9/11 related illnesses. This can be an advantage to your 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund case.


Angela Luongo, a Paralegal with Turley, Hansen & Partners contributed to the writing of this post.