Parker Waichman LLP lauds the efforts of Dr. Michael Crane to focus attention on the difficulties faced by those seeking benefits related to the 9/11 tragedy. Despite state and federal laws authorizing the screening and medical coverage for survivors living and working in the vicinity of the affected area of Manhattan and emergency responders, Parker Waichman LLP finds the percentage of people given health screenings to be unacceptable. Parker Waichman LLP represents 9/11 responders whose applications for pension disability benefits have been denied, as well as Manhattan community members and workers from the affected area who have been denied health screening and medical care benefits.
Director of the World Trade Center Health Program Warns of Screening and 9/11 Employee Pension Failures
New York City, New York, December 7, 2017 – Dr. Michael Crane, Director of the World Trade Center Health Programs, has spoken out about serious deficiencies in conducting medical screenings of those who work and live near the site of the World Trade Center terrorist attack. Dr. Crane also had focused attention on the low approval rate of disability pension applications from city and state pension programs. According to Dr. Crane, more NY state and city applications for pensions have been denied than approved, which has caused first responders to incur significant legal fees to engage in fights for benefits that can last years.
State Coverage – The World Trade Center (WTC) Disability Law
Gov. George E. Pataki signed a 2005 bill into law that established a presumption that workers involved in the cleanup of the twin towers tragedy would be entitled to disability payments if they subsequently developed certain medical conditions like serious skin conditions, cancer, and respiratory illnesses. Under the law, the civil service worker would receive disability amounting to three-quarters of his or her final average salary if the worker had logged a minimum of forty hours at the disaster site.
Federal Coverage – The Zadroga Act
The Zadroga Act was signed into law by President Obama in 2011. The law authorized both screening and medical coverage for survivors living and working in the vicinity of the affected area of Manhattan and emergency responders. The law has since been reauthorized, which extended the screening and medical benefits through 2090.
Why Have Screenings & Medical Benefits Fallen Short?
Despite these state and federal laws, Dr. Crane contends the that the necessary institutions were not equipped to take on the challenge of providing medical care for 400,000 people in the area and 90,000 first responders. While about 3 in 4 of the medical responders have been screened, Dr. Crane notes that only 12,000 community members have undergone screening.
Failure to Provide Care for Mental Disorders
Dr. Crane also has lamented the failure of the Federal Victims Compensation Fund to address mental-health conditions like PTSD, which impact 20-30 percent of responders he has studied. He notes that these uncovered conditions often contribute to other serious physical illnesses and injuries.
Parker Waichman LLP is committed to representing responders whose applications for pension disability benefits have been denied, as well as Manhattan community members who have been denied health screening and medical care benefits. We laud the efforts of Dr. Crane to focus attention on the difficulties faced by those seeking benefits related to the 9/11 tragedy. If you feel that your legal rights were violated, the firm offers free, no-obligation legal consultations. For more information, you can visit their website or call 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636). (For more information, please visit https://www.yourlawyer.com/911-zadroga-act/).