Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Expanded 9/11 Resources Under Zadroga Act

Outreach Campaign to Publicize Expanded 9/11 Resources Under Zadroga Act

For Immediate Release for Monday, June 24, 2013 
Contact:Raymond Rodriguez, ray...@berlinrosen.com, 646-200-5309 or Nick Moroni (Maloney), nick....@mail.house.gov, 212-860-0606 or 646-831-1649 or Celine Mizrahi (Nadler), celine....@mail.house.gov, 212-367-7350

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Congressman Jerrold Nadler Join NYCOSH, Labor & Community Advocates to Launch Outreach Campaign to Publicize Expanded 9/11 Resources Under Zadroga Act  

Tens of Thousands Eligible for Free Health Benefits and Screenings
100 Days to Deadline to Register Claims for Economic Losses with 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund; No Time Limit for Health Benefits

New York, NY -  Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), authors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, joined workers’ health advocates from the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), and union and community members outside 7 World Trade Center today to announce a new outreach campaign to  raise awareness about health care benefits available through the Zadroga Act. The event also marked the 100 day countdown to the deadline for most survivors and responders to file claims for economic losses with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). While the VCF registration deadline for most responders and survivors is Oct. 3, 2013, there is no time limit on health benefits.

 “It is so important that we make sure that anyone who is eligible for health care coverage under the World Trade Center Health Program and economic compensation through the Victim Compensation Fund knows how to receive this aid. The deadline is fast approaching to register a claim with the Victim Compensation Fund, and if you do not submit your application, you will not receive the compensation you are entitled to. Responders and survivors need to know about these benefits before it is too late,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12).

“Passing the 9-11 Health and Compensation Act took over a decade of struggle and hard work from so many, and is one of my proudest accomplishments,” said Congressman Jerry Nadler (NY-10). “However, the success of the programs depends on making sure that it reaches all eligible responders and survivors.  Today’s event highlights the important work there is still to do in making sure that 9-11’s victims get the care and compensation they need and deserve.  As the clock runs down for the Victim Compensation Fund, I urge everyone eligible to register as soon as possible, and my thanks and congratulations go to NYCOSH and the other organizations and advocates leading this critical public health outreach effort. ”

Tens of thousands of people are eligible for free medical exams, treatment and medication under the World Trade Center Health Program created by the Zadroga Act. Those eligible include persons who lived and or worked in Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn for one year after the 9/11 attacks and those who were exposed to toxins at The World Trade Center, The Pentagon and in Shanksville, PA.  In the twelve years since the attacks, many who were exposed to toxins at or near these sites have been diagnosed with respiratory disease, cancer and other health complications.  There is no deadline to apply for health benefits. 

The New York Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) is working with unions and community-based organizations to conduct an ambitious public outreach effort about the free health resources.  Funded by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which administers the WTC Health Program, the coordinated effort will pay considerable attention to culturally and linguistically diverse communities, which can be difficult to reach. The campaign will draw on the organizations’ well-established relationships within these communities to ensure that outreach is successful.  Efforts will include street outreach, visibility events and targeted online communications. For more information and to apply for the WTC Health Program, visit www.nycosh.org/wtc

“Our mission is to ensure that the tens of thousands of people who may be suffering from 9/11 related illnesses --- from survivors and first responders, to clean-up volunteers at the Staten Island infill and delivery workers in lower Manhattan in the year after --- know that there are free screenings, treatment and medication available to them” said Joel Shufro, Executive Director of NYCOSH.  [emphasis mine]

“Labor, community organizations, elected officials and advocates fought side by side for a decade and finally won essential services and programs for those whose lives were forever changed by 9/11, but that victory will be diminished if all who can benefit from the Zadroga Act fail to register and participate,” said Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO.  “That’s why we are joining together once again to make sure first responders, workers, volunteers and residents are aware of their rights under the law, and to urge them to register for the Victims Compensation Fund before it’s too late.”

“We commend NYCOSH on their vigilance in ensuring that victims of 9/11, including immigrants, receive the health care that they deserve,” said Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “After the tragedy of September 11th, 2001, many member groups of the New York Immigration Coalition provided services to hundreds of family members who worked in downtown Manhattan and were involved in the clean-up of workplaces and office buildings in the area surrounding ground zero. We know that those who participated in that effort became sick, and it’s clear that many people did not seek treatment because they were unaware of services and were concerned about their immigration status. Thanks to NYCOSH for continuing to address the health needs of our communities almost twelve years since 9/11.”

“It is urgent that all those affected by 9/11 and its clean up get the resources that we have obtained for them,” said Congressman José E. Serrano (NY-15). “Not only do they deserve it, in many cases it is of vital importance to keep these heroes healthy. I applaud all those involved in publicizing these resources, and vow to get the word out myself. We owe these heroes nothing less.”

While the Health Program can continue to take new applicants, the clock is ticking for injured 9/11 survivors and responders to register claims with theSeptember 11th Victim Compensation Fund(“VCF”) for economic losses due to their 9/11 injuries. Most injured responders and survivors must complete online registration at www.vcf.govby October 3rd, 2013, 100 days from this Wednesday. 

Members of the New York Congressional delegation are working in collaboration with 9/11 Health Watch to post countdown clocks on their websites, and will be asking all elected officials in the New York area to join them in spreading the word online and through their newsletters to make sure that no one injured in 9/11 misses the deadline to seek compensation for their economic losses.

“After years of fighting to make these programs a reality, it is important that responders and survivors understand what services are available to them. With only 100 days left to file a claim with the Victims Compensation Fund, I urge anyone who may be affected to register at www.vcf.gov,”said Congressman Peter King (NY-2)

“Our first responders, who bravely risked their lives on 9/11, as well as all of the victims of the September 11th attacks deserve access to this desperately needed health care. With the Victim Compensation Fund’s deadline fast approaching, we must make sure these individuals apply and get the medical coverage they need. That’s why, today, we are raising awareness about treatments covered for 9/11-related medical conditions and urging all to file a complaint with the Victim Compensation Fund. Thank you to my colleagues in Congress, NIOSH, 9/11 Health Watch, the FealGood Foundation, the State Federation of Labor and all those involved in this very important outreach effort,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (NY).

“The terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 devastated every American, especially the people of New York City. Despite efforts to protect the survivors of these attacks and their families, almost twelve years later many are unaware that health care options are available. I stand in full support of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act which provides critical assistance to the women and men who continue to suffer from injuries or related health problems. We must never forget the brave Americans from our community who risked their lives in our nation’s greatest moment of turmoil, exhibiting the true meaning of being a New Yorker, and most importantly, an American,” said Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-9)

“Standing up for those who stood up for us on 9/11 is America’s sacred obligation, and I urge anyone who is suffering as a result of their service at Ground Zero to sign up for the support and care you have earned,” said Congressman Tim Bishop (NY-1). “From the very beginning, Congresswoman Maloney and Congressman Nadler have helped lead the fight for this necessary assistance for all the heroes of 9/11, and I applaud them for keeping the spotlight on this vitally important issue.”
“The Zadroga Act gives much-needed help to the thousands of people who are now suffering from health issues and economic losses as a result of their service to our nation on September 11th and the days following. With the deadline to register claims with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund fast approaching, I urge all 9/11 survivors and responders to complete the online registration as soon as possible. Our heroes need this assistance – they deserve this assistance – and I want to ensure that everyone who is eligible gets aid as soon as possible,” said Congressman Joe Crowley (NY-14)

Congressman Eliot Engel(NY-16) said, “The law is designed to provide needed help to the thousands exposed to toxins at Ground Zero, including 16,000 first responders, and at least 2,700 local residents. I wasan original co-sponsor of the Zadroga Act and helpedshepherd it through theEnergy and Commerce Committee on its way to becoming law. I urge everyone affected by the toxins at Ground Zero, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania to register their claims before time runs out in October.”

"Detective James Zadroga's legacy is one that reminds us of a belief that I hold dear – it is not enough to pat our first responders on the back and say 'thank you.' We must demonstrate our appreciation through our actions," said Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9), a member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health. "The brave men and women who risked their own lives to selflessly save the lives of others deserve to have the very best care our country can provide.  Twelve years later, we must ensure these very victims are taking advantage of the benefits they're entitled to.”

“Having been downtown on September 11, 2001, I witnessed the extraordinary courage and selflessness of thousands of Americans immediately following the attacks. Now, it is our turn to make sure those who risked their lives helping others have the assistance they need,” said Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4). “I encourage everyone who may be eligible to go online and sign up for the free exams and other services they earned through their self-sacrifice.”

“In the hours and days following the attacks of September 11, 2001, courageous first responders and volunteers from Connecticut were on the scene, putting their safety, their health, and their lives on the line to save others. As a nation, we have an obligation to help all of the brave responders, volunteers, and survivors whose health has suffered as a result of their heroic actions. With the October 3 registration deadline approaching for the Victim Compensation Fund, I join Congresswoman Maloney and Congressman Nadler in urging 9/11 survivors and responders to register for the medical and the economic support they’re eligible to receive. I’m grateful to all of my colleagues, and everyone, who has fought so hard to ensure these brave men and women can receive the support and the health care they need,” said Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5)

The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was reopened in 2010 when Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The Zadroga law provides health care for those exposed to toxins at the site of the attacks and nearby surrounding areas through the WTC Health Program, and reopens the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund to provide economic relief to those injured by the attacks.


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