Information About Delays for Scheduling Initial Health Evaluations
The World Trade Center Health Program (WTC Health Program) provides medical monitoring and treatment for responders to the WTC and related sites in New York City, Pentagon, and Shanksville, PA, and survivors who were in the 9/11 New York City disaster area. Separate from the WTC Health Program, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) , administered by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), provides financial compensation for those who were physically harmed or killed and who meet the VCF’s eligibility criteria.
Beginning in mid-2017, the WTC Health Program began to notice an increased number of individuals seeking enrollment in the Program as screening-eligible survivors, and requesting certification of their health conditions as WTC-related. This increased interest in the Program may be due to ongoing outreach efforts by the Program and others, along with the VCF’s new requirement that VCF claimants seek membership in the WTC Health Program, and certification of their health conditions by the Program, to facilitate VCF compensation. The VCF recently shared a message about the change and registering for claims with the VCF, which can be viewed here.
The WTC Health Program is aware of the increased number of individuals, primarily survivors, seeking enrollment and/or certification of their health conditions. The WTC Health Program is taking active steps to address the waiting time for an initial health evaluation for enrolled screening-eligible survivors.
We are looking at options to expand our capacity to provide initial health evaluations and health condition(s) certification to new WTC Health Program members. These options may include increasing the capacity at clinics affiliated with the Program and located in Manhattan.
In the meantime, we thank you for your patience as we work to reduce the wait time you may be experiencing for an initial health evaluation. If you have questions about becoming a member of and/or requesting certification for your health condition(s) from the WTC Health Program, you may find the information below helpful.
Please feel free to check back frequently; we will provide updates on this webpage as we have them.
Questions and Answers about the increased waiting time for initial health evaluations in the WTC Health Program
Possible reasons for the increased interest in the Program may be include ongoing outreach efforts by the WTC Health Program and others, along with the VCF’s new requirement that VCF claimants seek membership in the WTC Health Program, and certification of their health conditions by the Program, to facilitate VCF compensation.
The WTC Health Program is evaluating options to expand our capacity to provide initial health evaluations. We will provide additional updates as these new options for scheduling initial health evaluations are established.
The current increase in waiting time for scheduling initial health evaluations is affecting primarily survivors. The surge in enrollment that the WTC Health Program is experiencing represents a greater number of survivors than responders.
No, the increase in waiting time in scheduling the initial health evaluation will not affect a claim with the VCF. You do not need a certification from the WTC Health Program in order to register with the VCF. So long as you have registered with the VCF by the applicable deadline, you will have preserved your right to submit a complete VCF claim. For more information about the VCF process, visit www.vcf.gov.
Once you are registered with the VCF, you should apply to the WTC Health Program. After you are enrolled in the Program, you will be given instructions on how to make an appointment for your initial health evaluation with a Clinical Center of Excellence (CCE) or Nationwide Provider Network (NPN). If during your initial health evaluation, your WTC physician determines you have a WTC-related health condition, your WTC physician will fill out forms requesting that the WTC Health Program certify your health condition. If your health conditions are certified by the WTC Health Program, you will receive a letter from the Program to let you know.
To apply to the WTC Health Program please visit our How to Apply page. You may download an enrollment form www.cdc.gov/wtc/apply.html. The application can be completed online, printed, and then submitted via mail or fax. If you do not have access to a computer, you can ask for a copy of the application to be mailed to you by calling 1-888-982-4748. Approval times for each application will vary. Once you have been approved for enrollment in the WTC Health Program, you will receive an acceptance letter notifying you of your approval. You can check the status of your application by calling us at 1-888-982-4748.
The next step will be scheduling your initial health evaluation. The welcome letter from the WTC Health Program included a list of clinics you may call to schedule your appointment. If you have questions about which clinic you should contact, please call 1-888-982-4748.
At this time we are seeing an increase in waiting time to schedule the initial health evaluation for newly enrolled screening-eligible survivors. The WTC Health Program is evaluating options to expand our capacity to provide initial health evaluations. We will provide additional updates as these new options for scheduling initial health evaluations are established.
*Note: Leaving messages with the WTC Health Program general call center (888-982-4748) is NOT a way to get health evaluations scheduled. Please contact the Clinical Center of Excellence or Nationwide Provider Network that was listed in your welcome letter to schedule an appointment for an initial health evaluation. You can also find the contact information for the clinics here.
The Clinical Center of Excellence that provides initial health evaluations for survivors only schedules appointments three months into the future. This means there is uncertainty as to when you might receive an appointment, and it may take a while before the clinic is able to get your appointment scheduled.
* A survivor is defined as a person who was present in the New York City disaster area or in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center as a result of their work; residence; or attendance at school, child care, or adult day care.
The WTC Health Program has a Nationwide Provider Network (NPN) to serve members who live outside the New York City metropolitan area. The NPN is available to WTC, Pentagon, and Shanksville responders and WTC survivors. For information about the NPN call 1-888-982-4748. If you are a member of the NPN and need assistance, please contact the NPN directly at 1-877-498-2911.
No, the WTC Health Program will issue you a certification letter. You do not need additional documentation from your health care provider or Clinical Center of Excellence or the Nationwide Provider Network. In addition, the WTC Health Program shares its health condition certification data with the VCF upon receipt of a request from the VCF and a release from the individual (this release is part of the forms used by the VCF and is submitted to the WTC Health Program at the time of the request).
Page Last Reviewed: December 15, 2017 | Page Last Updated: June 6, 2018