Filing deadline is Oct. 3
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilman David Greenfield is warning that the deadline to register for the Victim Compensation Fund for 9/11 survivors and first responders is rapidly approaching.
The last day to register for financial assistance is Oct. 3, according to Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-parts of Bensonhurst), who urged all 9/11 first responders and survivors, including local Hatzolah and Shomrim volunteer members, to register.
The fund, which is part of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, is open to injured and ill 9/11 first-responders and survivors from the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Shanksville crash sites and to surviving family members of those who died due to the attacks.
But anyone seeking compensation must register by the deadline, even if they are already receiving benefits through the separate World Trade Center Health Program.
Greenfield said local residents, first-responders, safety patrol volunteers and anyone else whose health was impacted by the terror attacks should visit as soon as possible to find out if they are eligible to enroll in the program.
The fund provides compensation for a multitude of health issues.
“We will never forget the horror of that day, or the heroic response by so many New Yorkers over the following hours, days and weeks, including our great local volunteers. Anyone who risked their health to help rescue others deserves nothing less that this city and nation’s full support, including compensation through the Zadroga Act,” Greenfield said.
Hatzolah Volunteer Ambulance played a key role in the overwhelming response to the 9/11 attacks, responding to the scene with over 35 ambulances, 250 emergency medical technicians and 55 paramedics, according to Greenfield, who said the first ambulance to arrive at the scene after the first plane hit the North Tower was a Hatzolah ambulance.
While no volunteer members were seriously injured at the scene, Greenfield said there is no telling what health impacts they will carry with them in the coming years.
Because a resident cannot sign up for the fund after the Oct. 3 deadline, anyone who responded to the attacks or was exposed to toxins and believes their health has been impacted as a result is urged to register before the deadline, even if they have yet to experience actual illness or symptoms.
Registering preserves a resident’s right to file a claim in the future, before the fund ends in 2016.
The fund is separate from the World Trade Center Health Program, which has provided free medical exams, treatment and medication to tens of thousands of people who lived or worked in lower Manhattan or Brooklyn in the years following 9/11. The Victims Compensation Fund provides actual payment to compensate those first responders and victims who have had health issues.
For more information about the Victim Compensation Fund, including eligibility, visit www.vcf.gov or call Greenfield’s office at 718-853-2704.