Brooklyn Boro

Brooklyn and Queens victims of 9/11 eligible for federal help

September 7, 2018 By Bridget Belfiore Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Wind sprays mist over the rim of the South Pool of the 9/11 Memorial. AP Photo/Craig Ruttle

Almost 17 years later, 9/11 still has boundless effects on New Yorkers.  

Fatal illnesses are still being detected in those who worked, volunteered or studied in the Lower Manhattan area after 9/11. Among the 300,000 of these forgotten people are residents in Brooklyn and Queens, who were unprotected from toxins as a result of the devastation.  

Such exposure warrants eligibility for federal help through funds and health care.  Many people affected by the event, first responders and survivors alike, continue to experience ailments, namely cancer. It is predicted that cancer numbers will persist, because it currently dominates as a 9/11-related disease.

Attorney Michael Barasch, who represented over 11,000 first responders and survivors affected by 9/11, stated that, “28-year-old women should not have breast cancer. 30-year-old men should not have bladder cancer. But this is exactly what we’re seeing — it is a cancer on steroids. This is a growing and serious health epidemic and it is so important for anyone who lived, worked or spent time in that area to understand the importance of receiving free health care and compensation. Federal programs are in place for their well-being.”

Though over 450,000 people have been sickened, only around 20 percent have enrolled for the health care they deserve. Many do not realize that they are eligible for such help, but Barasch has been working with the Council of School Supervisors & Administrators (CSA), alumni organizations, and people from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), in addition to different community groups, to inform those about federal help who do not live in Manhattan but worked, lived or attended school in the area.  

See the World Trade Center Health Program https://www.cdc.gov/wtc/faq.html and https://www.vcf.gov/pdf/VCF_FactSheet.pdf for more info.

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