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9/11 COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) has been the cause of suffering by a large percentage of the first responders, rescue workers, and to many people who live and work in lower Manhattan. Turley Hansen represents many clients with COPD in claims before the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. There are two main conditions included with COPD: emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

COPD is a chronic progressive disease (meaning that it gets worse over time) that can cause coughing and many other symptoms such as mucus/phlegm, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, and other breathing related conditions.

The “World Trade Center Cough”

Unfortunately, many of the people exposed to the 9/11 toxic dust and fumes began to have respiratory symptoms shortly after 9/11, beginning with what has been called a “World Trade Center Cough.” As months and years passed, the cough stayed and other even more serious chronic conditions set in, including COPD. In fact, published studies that examined the rate of COPD of people exposed to the 9/11 dust and fumes demonstrated that in the years after 9/11, the exposed individuals were five times more likely to suffer from COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis).

COPD develops and gets worse slowly over time, and many people don’t even know that they have it. It is a major cause of disability (and even death), however, with millions of people in the United States who are diagnosed with the disease. COPD often limits the sufferer’s ability to work and perform basic activities such as climbing stairs, walking, and taking care of one’s own home.

COPD Sufferers Are Entitled to Free Health Care and Compensation

The World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund provide for health care and victim compensation for exposed individuals suffering from COPD. Originally, these two programs provided medical care and compensation to individuals who were suffering from aggravations or a worsening of pre-existing 9/11 COPD.

After many more scientific medical studies the Health Program and the VCF were expanded (on August 5, 2016) to also include new-onset COPD. So now, under the new rules, any 9/11-exposed individual with COPD–whether the COPD was pre-existing and aggravated or a new diagnosis–is entitled to free heath care and victim compensation.

Should you have questions about free medical care or a compensation award for COPD from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, please call us at 1-855-982-4636.