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This month marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the  Pentagon, the crash site of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and the World Trade Center  (“WTC”) Towers in Lower Manhattan, New York. We will be dedicating this entire month to the  September 11th Victim’s Compensation Fund (“VCF”), also known as the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.  

The Zadroga Act was named in honor of James Zadroga who passed away on January 5,  2006, as a result of various respiratory and digestive diseases and disorders developed from his  exposure to the remains at the World Trade Center. Zadroga was the first member of the NYPD  whose post 9/11 death was directly linked by a medical examiner to the rescue, recovery, and  clean-up efforts of the terrorist attacks. The official diagnosed paved the way for the  establishment of the James Zadroga 911 Health & Compensation Act of 2010 which was signed  into law by President Obama on January 2, 2011, it gave 9/11 victims and their representatives  the right to file compensatory claims with the VCF. However, the VCF did not start accepting  and processing claims until April 15, 2021, when President Obama signed Public Law 112-10.  Then later on December 18, 2015, Public Law 114-113 was signed to reauthorize the Zadroga  Act and extend the time period where eligible claimants could submit their claims. Hence,  victims’ of 9/11 attacks could file a claim as well as a parent, guardian, or representative of the victim, living or deceased.  

There are three main requirements that must be met to determine eligibility: 

  • Location:
    • The victim’s eligible for compensation includes anyone who was present  on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, within the vicinity of the  Pentagon, the World Trade Center/ New York Financial District or Flight  93 crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania;
    • Anyone who worked, lived, attended school, or day-care facilities between  September 11, 2001 – May 30, 2002, in the Financial District, Battery Park, Bowling Green, Tribeca, Chinatown, SoHo, Lower East Side, and  Greenwich Village. The exposure zone also encompasses areas along the  routes used in the removal/transportation of debris from the attack site,  which are listed here – NYC Exposure Zone.
  • Dates:
    • Per the Zadroga Act and 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, victims need to  demonstrate they were physically present within the NYC Exposure Zone  or any of the other sites listed above between September 11, 2001 and  May 30, 2002;
    • Examples of proof include but aren’t limited to:
      • Employment: work verification letter, pay stubs, W-2/ 1099, tax  returns, union records or official roster/site credentials (like  Salvation Army or Red Cross rosters) 
      • Residence: utility bills, leases, mortgage or rent receipts showing a victim’s place of residence within the exposure zone during the applicable time frame; 
      • Education: daycare or school records for children and  adults confirming attendance or enrollment during the  applicable time frame; 
      • Rescue Crew/ Volunteer: instructions, orders, or confirmation of tasks performed at the site of the attack or within the exposure zones. 
      • Health: medical records showing treatment directly linked  to injuries suffered as a result of the terrorist attack sites dated September 11, 2001, or shortly thereafter. 
      • Statements: notarized affidavits, sworn affidavits, and/or unsworn statements in compliance with federal law from any individual attesting to a victim’s presence in the NYC exposure zone or other sites during the applicable frames
  • Conditions:
    • The WTC Health Program treats and monitors specific physical and  mental conditions resulting from exposure to the 9/11 terror attacks. Here is the conclusive list of illnesses covered under the Zadroga Act.  The Zadroga Act enables victims of 9/11 and their representatives the right to file a claim  through the VCF online portal or via a hardcopy application. VCF encourages online  submissions which can be used to:
      • Register an account to preserve your right to file a new claim anytime in the  future; 
      • Complete and submit a claim form; 
      • File amendments to previously submitted claims as per the guidelines; Upload supporting claim documents; 
      • View correspondence with the VCF; 
      • Update contact information, among other information such as authorized  representative or attorney information; and, review the information provided when completing a claim form. 

The VCF has gone as far as creating a navigation tip sheet that offers valuable  information on navigating through the online claim system. Since the Zadroga claims can be  filed online or offline. if you don’t have reliable internet, you can file a claim offline by using  these steps:

  • Download the hard copy PDF claim form version, print it, complete it, and mail it.
  • The hard copy claim form can be completed by hand. If you don’t have a printer, you can request the VCF to mail you the hard copy form by calling the toll-free VCF helpline: 1-855-885-1555. 

The Law Offices of Marjory Cajoux has a strong affinity for the 9/11 victims  combatting illnesses and their families. Our firm is a leader in the New York City area and has  been helping 9/11 victims successfully secure the compensation they deserve. Please contact us  today to schedule a consultation and speak with one of our dedicated, knowledgeable, and  experienced personal injury attorney.