Guest Op-Ed: Deadline approaching for 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund

September 16, 2013 Editorial Staff
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BY ASSEMBLYMEMBER ALAN MAISEL

Twelve years ago, on Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy shook our entire nation and took the lives of thousands of innocent New Yorkers. Still, over a decade later, the images of that day are just as vivid and the emotional wounds just as raw.

We will never forget the ones we lost or the bravery and selflessness on display during those tragic morning hours. September 11 will never be just another day, but a day to remember the fallen and honor our heroes.

New York’s first responders are some of the most courageous people among us. They raced into action on 9/11, as they do every day, and risked everything to get others to safety. And for the weeks and months that followed, they worked around the clock on the devastation left behind.

But for many, their heroism came at a cost. Since 9/11, many first responders and survivors are still forced to cope with injuries and illnesses they sustained as a result of that day and the clean-up that followed. It’s important they know that help is still available.

Under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, first responders and survivors who became ill or sustained injuries, as well as surviving family members of those victims who died due to the attacks, may still apply for compensation from the Victim Compensation Fund.

Survivors and first responders eligible for the program must register for financial compensation by October 3. For eligible victims enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program or who have filed with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, a separate registration for the Victim Compensation Fund is required in order to receive assistance.

For more information about the Victim Compensation Fund or to apply, visit www.vcf.gov or call the helpline at 855-885-1555.

I urge any 9/11 first responders or survivors in need of assistance to apply for compensation with the Victim Compensation Fund and get the help they need before the October 3 deadline. If you have any questions or concerns about this or any other important community issue, please contact my office at 718-968-2770 or email me at [email protected].

Alan Maisel represents the 59th A.D. in the New York State Assembly.


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