Were you affected by 9/11? The World Trade Center Health Program, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (“VCF”), and other benefits programs can help.
If you were affected by 9/11 as part of the response and recovery efforts or if you lived or worked in the WTC vicinity and have 9/11 health concerns, you can apply to the World Trade Center Health Program and you may be eligible for VCF benefits. CWA recommends that all eligible CWA members take advantage of these important programs.
The World Trade Center Health Program consists of WTC Clinical Centers of Excellence in the NY metropolitan area, including NYC, Long Island, and NJ. There is also a National Program to cover WTC-related health care throughout the country. The WTC Health Program has separate programs for responders and survivors. The responder program provides free, yearly medical monitoring, and treatment if needed, for 9/11 conditions covered by the program, as well as benefits counseling. You do not have to be sick to participate in the responder program. The survivor program provides treatment and benefits counseling for survivors with 9/11-related illnesses. You can learn more about the WTC Health Program at http://www.cdc.gov/wtc/index.html.
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (“VCF”) was created to provide financial compensation for an eligible individual (or a personal representative of a deceased individual) who suffered physical harm for certain 9/11-related conditions, including many cancers, or was killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001 or the rescue and recovery efforts that took place in the aftermath of those crashes. You can learn more about the VCF at www.vcf.gov.
NYS Workers' Compensation and the WTC-12 Form:
In order file for a 9/11-related Workers’ Compensation claim now or in the future, workers who participated in 9/11 response activities have to file a form with the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board called the "WTC-12, Registration of Participation in WTC Rescue, Recovery and/or Clean-up Operations." The deadline to file the WTC-12 form is September 11, 2022. This form preserves your right to file a 9/11-related comp claim; it does not set up a claim. You can access the WTC-12 form on the NYS Workers' Compensation Board website here. When you get to the page, scroll down to the section called, "Preserve Your Rights - WTC Registry."
WTC Disability Law:
Under the WTC Disability Law, September 11, 2022 is also the deadline to file a "Notice of Participation in WTC Rescue, Recovery and/or Clean-up Operations" for eligible municipal employees in the NYC Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS) and for eligible state and local government employees in the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS). This is not an application for disability. This preserves your right to file for disability under the WTC Disability Law. Go to www.nycers.org or www.osc.state.ny.us for more information.
Note: The CWA District 1 Health and Safety office has maintained many documents collected from some employers and members in the months after 9/11. These documents may help some members who worked for Verizon, AT&T, Lucent (now Nokia), NABET-CWA Locals 16 and 11, and NY Downtown Hospital/Beekman (now NY Presbyterian Downtown) in establishing eligibility and “proof of presence” for the WTC Health Program and the VCF.
For more information and help, please contact CWA’s Deputy Director for Occupational Safety and Health, Micki Siegel de Hernández at email@example.com, or reach out to your CWA Local.