On September 11, 2001, one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the United States history occurred. Terrorists hijacked two planes, and one plane was flown into the North Tower of New York’s World Trade Center (WTC), killing 2,749 people and injuring more than 6,000 others. The other plane was flown into the South Tower at WTC causing its collapse and another 1,368 dead people. The third plane, which was supposed to be aimed at the U.S. Department of Defense headquarters, crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing all 45 people aboard. The suspected terrorists were linked to Islamic extremist groups.
Three days after the attack, President George W. Bush called a special joint session of Congress and urged them to pass legislation that would help the victims and their families in their time of need. He urged Congress to pass the Air Transportation Safety and Security Act, which would authorize the creation of a 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. The act would cover those who had suffered physical harm, permanent mental health conditions, or lost a family member in an attack.
What is the 9/11 Victim’s, Compensation Fund?
The Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) was created to compensate the rescue workers and families of those killed during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The VCF compensates for physical damages, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and future medical expenses. The fund was initially estimated at $7 billion; however, it has increased up to $7.4 billion thanks to Congress’s law, which gave additional money to the fund in 2011.
What is the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program?
The WTC Health Program was created in May 2001 (just months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks) to help victims and survivors of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The program provides treatment and counseling services to victims of the attack and their families, who have been diagnosed with various illnesses due to their exposure to such contaminants as asbestos, silica, formaldehyde, and other harmful toxins.
Who Can Participate?
The VCF and the WTC Health Program are only open to those who were “directly” injured or suffered a September 11-related illness. This includes victims of the World Trade Center attack, survivors of Flight 93, and first responders (law enforcement officials and firefighters). The Compensation Fund is available to those who received medical treatment for a medical condition resulting from exposure to toxins in the WTC dust. The WTC Health Program is open to those diagnosed with cancer, respiratory diseases, heart disease, and various other conditions.
How are Claims Evaluated?
Claims are evaluated by the office of Victim’s Compensation (OVC), located at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The OVC helps determine eligibility and then awards up to a maximum amount awarded under the law.
At Hansen & Rosasco, LLP, they represent those entitled to compensation and other benefits under the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Hansen & Rosasco, LLP, is an experienced 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund law firm in New York and have helped many victims and their families, including the first responders and WTC survivors to get the compensation they deserve. If you or a family member is eligible for VCF or WTC benefits, contact one of our experienced attorneys from our office in New York today.