For police officers and others who took part in World Trade Center rescue and recovery efforts and now suffer cancer caused by toxic exposure, a deadline to register for compensation through the James Zadroga September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is less than three months away.
The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association has alerted its members that those who were diagnosed on or before October 12, 2012 with one of the cancers first recognized by the VCF on that date must register by October 12, 2014, according to The PBA Beat. The newsletter says that members diagnosed on or before October 21, 2013 with prostate cancer must register by October 21, 2015. Members who were diagnosed on or before February 18, 2014 with a “rare cancer” as defined by the WTC Health Program must register by February 18, 2016, and members diagnosed with any of the recognized cancers after the relevant cut-off date above may register up to two years after the date they became ill, but no later than October 3, 2016.
Many who participated in the 9/11 rescue and recovery developed serious illnesses at the time because of exposure to toxic dust, but others did not become ill until years later. The toxins caused cancers and illnesses that took years to develop. According to the New York Daily News, as many as 65,000 people are part of World Trade Center medical monitoring and treatment programs. The federal Zadroga Act, named for the late New York Police Department detective James Zadroga, enacted in December 2010, reopens the September 11 fund for five years to provide compensation for job and economic losses for first responders, those trapped in the buildings, and local residents who suffered illnesses related to the toxic dust.
A detailed listing of the cancer types covered and information about the registration process can be found at the VCF website (http://www.vcf.gov/). VCF information and assistance can also be obtained by phone at 855.885.1555.