The September 11 Victim Compensation Fund has an important filing deadline on October 12, 2014 for those who took part in World Trade Center rescue and recovery efforts in 2001-2002 and now suffer cancers and other illnesses caused by toxic exposure.
Those who were diagnosed on or before October 12, 2012 with one of the cancers recognized by the VCF by that date must register with the VCF by October 12, 2014, according to The PBA Beat, the New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association newsletter. Participants in the recovery efforts who were diagnosed on or before October 21, 2013 with prostate cancer must register by October 21, 2015. Those diagnosed on or before February 18, 2014 with a “rare cancer” (as defined by the WTC Health Program) must register by February 18, 2016. Anyone diagnosed with one of the recognized cancers after the cut-off dates above may register up to two years after the date they became ill, but no later than October 3, 2016.
Though many who participated in the rescue and recovery efforts developed serious illnesses at the time because of exposure to toxic dust, others, including volunteers in the months after 9/11, did not become ill until years later. Cancers and other illnesses caused by toxic exposure can take years to develop. The Zadroga Act, a federal law named for the late New York Police Department detective James Zadroga, was enacted in December 2010, to reopen the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund for an additional five years. First responders, recovery workers, those trapped in the WTC buildings, and local residents who suffered illnesses related to the toxic dust are eligible to file for compensation.
The Victim Compensation Fund web site contains a detailed listing of the cancers covered and provides information about the registration process: www.vcf.gov. Information and assistance can also be obtained by phone at 855.885.1555.