Understanding Different September 11th Assistance Programs

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The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (Zadroga Act) authorized the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) to serve the 9/11 responder and survivor communities. Both programs have their own distinct mission, eligibility criteria, and enrollment process.

Enrolling in one program does not automatically enroll you in the other.

World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program

Provides: Medical monitoring and treatment of WTC-related health conditions for 9/11 responders and survivors.

Administered by: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), part of U.S.Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Serves: Responders at the WTC and related sites in New York City. Responders to the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania sites. Survivors who were present in the dust or dust cloud, and/or lived, worked, or went to school in the WTC Health Program’s New York City Disaster Area.

Get more detailed information on Responder and Survivor date, time, and location requirements—including a map of the New York City Disaster Area—at www.cdc.gov/wtc/eligiblegroups.html

Deadline: None. The WTC Health Program is authorized until 2090.

More info: Care is provided through Clinical Centers of Excellence (CCEs) in the New York metropolitan area and a Nationwide Provider Network (NPN). Each CCE employs 9/11 health experts who have been diagnosing, treating, and linking conditions to 9/11 exposures since 2001. The NPN provides care through local medical providers across the country.

September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)

Provides: Financial compensation for physical injuries, illnesses, or deaths that happened as the result of the 9/11 attacks.

Administered by: U.S. Department of Justice

Serves: Responders and survivors who were present at a 9/11 crash site (New York City, the Pentagon, Shanksville, Pennsylvania), on routes of debris removal, or at any location within the VCF’s New York City Exposure Zone at any point from September 11, 2001, through May 30, 2002. Families of deceased individuals may also apply. The VCF does not distinguish between responders and survivors when evaluating eligibility and calculating awards.

See the VCF’s New York City Exposure Zone at www.vcf.gov/nyc-map-exposure-zone

Deadline: Yes. The VCF is authorized to accept claims through 2090, but you must meet your registration deadlines based on individual circumstances. Learn more at https://www.vcf.gov/deadlines

More info: VCF registration is different than filing a claim. Registration preserves your right to file a VCF claim in the future. You do not have to be sick or injured to register.


What is the relationship between the WTC Health Program and the VCF?

The WTC Health Program and the VCF are separate programs with distinct eligibility criteria and are administered by different federal government agencies. There is no requirement for a member of the WTC Health Program to have registered for or filed a claim with the VCF. However, the VCF requires that claimants be enrolled in and have their physical condition(s) certified for treatment by the WTC Health Program in order to process a VCF claim and award compensation.

When authorized by the VCF claimant, the WTC Health Program will share certification information with the VCF. However, the WTC Health Program is not involved in VCF compensation decisions and WTC Health Program providers do not have the authority to make medical decisions based on a VCF claim.

What about the WTC Health Registry?

The WTC Health Registry is also authorized by the Zadroga Act and conducts periodic health surveys of 9/11 responders and survivors to learn more about the health conditions and healthcare needs of people who responded to the WTC site, or who lived, worked, or went to school nearby. The Registry is administered by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and is funded by NIOSH, the administrator of the WTC Health Program. The Registry closed in 2004 and is not open to new registrants. Learn more about the Registry at www.nyc.gov/9-11health

More about WTC Health Program and VCF
James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act of 2015

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law 114-113) which includes the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. Public Law 114-113 amended Title XXXIII of the Public Health Service Act at 42 U.S.C. §§ 300mm – 300mm-61 to reauthorize the WTC Health Program until September 30th, 2090. The original Zadroga Act of 2010 provided funding for a 5 year period ending in 2016.


Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act

On July 29, 2019, President Trump signed the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act (VCF Permanent Authorization Act) (Public Law 116-34). The VCF Permanent Authorization Act extended the VCF’s claim filing deadline from December 18, 2020, to October 1, 2090, and funded the VCF in full until October 1, 2092. The VCF had previously been reopened by the original Zadroga Act of 2010 for 5 years and extended another 5 years with the Zadroga Act reauthorization in 2015.


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