What is the World Trade Center Health Program’s “New York City Disaster Area”
The World Trade Center (WTC) Health program provides medical treatment for survivors in the “New York City Disaster Area” due to work, residence, or attendance at school or child care and individuals who were present in this area on the day of the attacks.
The New York City Disaster Area includes the area of Manhattan south of Houston Street and any block of Brooklyn that is either wholly or partially contained within a 1.5-mile radius of the former WTC site. A map showing the covered area is accessible at https://www.cdc.gov/wtc/define.html.
While the WTC Health Program may treat people from a larger geographic area, for a VCF claim, the coverage area is south of Canal Street and only in Manhattan. A map showing the covered area is accessible at: https://www.vcf.gov/nycExposureMap.html.
Who Is Covered by the World Trade Center Health Program?
The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program, which is a program under the Zadroga Act, is open to the following groups:
This category refers to responders to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks who experienced, or may experience, symptoms of illnesses and medical conditions related to their exposure during and after the attacks.
Eligible first responders include:
- Law enforcement, firefighters, transportation workers, security workers, volunteers and others who participated in the rescue, recovery, security and clean-up efforts at the World Trade Center disaster site and certain other areas such as the Staten Island Landfill and the New York City Chief Medical Examiner’s Office.
- Members of fire and police departments, other workers, and volunteers who responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., or in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
- Active or retired FDNY members, whether fire or emergency personnel; NYPD, whether active or retired; “Port Authority Police of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; employees of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City and other morgue workers” who handled human remains; “workers in the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporate Tunnel; vehicle maintenance workers exposed to debris; and other workers or volunteers who assisted in the rescue, recovery, debris cleanup or related services.”
- Other workers and volunteers must have responded in Lower Manhattan, including Ground Zero, the Staten Island Landfill, or on the barge loading piers.
Residents, Workers, and Other Survivors
Non-first responder survivors (i.e. residents, workers, etc.) of the terrorist attacks include individuals who worked, lived, attended school or child care and individuals who were present in this area on the day of the attacks, or those present at times between September 11, 2001 and May 31, 2001, who experienced, or may experience, illness symptoms related to their exposure during and after the attacks.
Eligible non-first responders must have been present within the disaster area on September 11, 2001, or present within the area for four (4) days from September 11, 2001 through January 10, 2001, or present within the area for thirty (30) days from September 11, 2001 through May 31, 2002.
Conditions Covered by the WTC Health Program
The extensive list of health conditions eligible for coverage under the WTC Health Program follows. According to the WTC Program, the “List of WTC-Related Health Conditions may be amended by the WTC Program Administrator to include other health conditions as more information is learned about the relationship of 9/11 terrorist site exposures and those health conditions.”
To view the laws and regulations in their original format and other information on the WTC Health Program access the WTC Law and Regulations page at: https://www.cdc.gov/wtc/regulations.html
List of WTC-Related Health Conditions as of July 5, 2017
Acute Traumatic Injury
- Complex sprain
- Eye injury
- Head trauma
- Other similar acute traumatic injuries
- Tendon tear
Aerodigestive Disorders (Airways and Digestive Disorders)
- Chronic cough syndrome
- Chronic laryngitis
- Chronic nasopharyngitis
- Chronic respiratory disorder—fumes/vapors
- Chronic rhinosinusitis
- Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
- Interstitial lung diseases
- Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS)
- Sleep apnea exacerbated by or related to another condition described in the list of aerodigestive disorders
- Upper airway hyperreactivity
- WTC-exacerbated and new-onset chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Following is a compressed, general listing of the cancers covered under the WTC Health Program. A complete list of all of the cancers covered by the Program are available on the Covered Cancers page at: https://www.cdc.gov/wtc/coveredcancers.html
- All solid cancers (other than mesothelioma, lymphoproliferative, thyroid, and childhood cancers)
- Digestive System
- Eye and Orbit
- Female Reproductive Organs
- Head and Neck
- Respiratory System
- Skin (Melanoma and non-Melanoma)
- Soft Tissue
- Urinary System
- Lymphoproliferative and hematopoietic cancers (including all types of leukemia and lymphoma)
- Blood and Lymphoid Tissue Cancers (including, but not limited to, lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma)
- Thyroid cancer
- Childhood cancers (other than lymphoproliferative and hematopoietic cancers)
- Any type of cancer diagnosed in a person less than 20 years of age.
- Rare Cancers
Any type of cancer that occurs in less than 15 cases per 100,000 persons per year (called the “incidence rate”), based on data from 2005-2009 as referenced in Copeland et al., Cancer in North America: 2005-2009, published in 2012. Every cancer submitted for certification which is not individually identified in the above list is reviewed by the WTC Health Program to assess if it meets the definition of a rare cancer.
Mental Health Conditions
- Acute stress disorder
- Adjustment disorder
- Anxiety disorder (not otherwise specified)
- Depression (not otherwise specified)
- Dysthymic disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Major depressive disorder
- Panic disorder
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Substance abuse
According to the WTC Program, this category is “Limited to responders who received any treatment for a WTC-related musculoskeletal disorder on or before September 11, 2003, and meaning chronic or recurrent disorder of the musculoskeletal system caused by heavy lifting or repetitive strain on the joints or musculoskeletal system occurring during rescue or recovery efforts in the New York City disaster area in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.”
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)
- Low back pain
- Other musculoskeletal disorders
According to the WTC Health Program, this category involves “Other health conditions determined to result from the treatment or progression of an underlying certified WTC-related health condition may be certified as ‘health conditions medically associated with a WTC-related health condition.”
Questions Concerning the Zadroga Act
Parker Waichman also promises to continue its efforts to protect those who were exposed to Ground Zero’s toxic cloud and the trauma of the 9/11 attacks, and ensure that all the deserved Zadroga Act compensation is received. To determine your eligibility for benefits, the illnesses covered, and filing a claim, please contact our experienced team of Zadroga Act attorneys.
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