9/11 Responders and Survivors Will Lose Benefits Unless Congress Takes Action

The Zadroga Act provides medical monitoring, treatment, and compensation to 9/11 responders and survivors. Unless Congress takes action, these programs start to expire this year.

Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm that has spent many years fighting to ensure that the heroes of the 9/11 terrorist attacks are never forgotten, urges Congress to reauthorize the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. As the 14th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, so do the expiration dates for the Act’s two programs: The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). In April 2015, United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (Democrat-New York) and a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill to extend these programs. Parker Waichman applauds these efforts and continues to support reauthorization of the Act.

According to the Queens Tribune, Senator Gillibrand renewed the push to permanently extend the Zadroga Act when speaking at the Mount Sinai World Trade Center Health Program Staten Island Clinical Center. The senator was joined by Staten Island Borough President James Oddo; President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Pat Lynch; FealGood Foundation Founder, John Feal; and responders, survivors, doctors and other healthcare workers, and advocates. “Our first responders answered the call of duty when our nation was under attack, and deserve to be treated by Congress as the veterans they really are,” Gillibrand said. “We cannot abandon the men and women who now suffer as a result of their sacrifice, and must pass a permanent extension of the programs they rely upon. These heroes should not have to walk the halls of the Capitol to beg for the benefits they have earned, and I will proudly walk with them until we secure the health and compensation programs they deserve.”

Parker Waichman comments that Zadroga benefits are crucial to a number of responders and survivors. The VCF provides compensation while the WTC Health Program, which serves 70,000 responders and survivors, provides medical treatment and monitoring. The VCF has deemed 5,636 individuals eligible for compensation since 2013. Zadroga claimants live in every state and in 429 out of 435 Congressional Districts. “These individuals sacrificed their health and well-being at a time when their country needed them most,” said Matthew J. McCauley, Senior Litigation Counsel at Parker Waichman. “They and their families deserve these benefits.”

The firm comments that some 9/11-related conditions, including cancer, may not manifest for many years. “Some responders and survivors may not develop symptoms for years to come,” said Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney at Parker Waichman. “The Zadroga Act must remain open so these individuals are able to get the help they need when they need that help.”

Parker Waichman actively worked toward the 2010 passage of the Zadroga Act, including taking part in lobbying efforts and trips to the nation’s capital, often along with the firm’s clients—other responders and survivors. The firm continues to support the Zadroga Act and remains dedicated to fighting for the rights of responders and survivors. In fact, Parker Waichman was recently involved in the “Take Action” tool that allows responders, survivors, and advocates the ability to review Congress member activities concerning the upcoming expiration of the James Zadroga Act. Parker Waichman assisted with the research on, and creation of, the Tool, which may be accessed at: Renew 911 Health Organization’s website.

Parker Waichman continues to fight, alongside Ground Zero first responders, survivors, and advocates, to help ensure passage of Zadroga Act amendments, and vows to continue efforts to safeguard these heroes and ensure Zadroga Act compensation is available. To determine eligibility for compensation under the Act, or for assistance with a claim, please visit Parker Waichman’s website or call 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).

Release ID: 90249