9/11 Health and Compensation

From 2001 – 2090: The World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund

The September 11, 2001 attacks on our country exposed thousands of people to a toxic cocktail at the World Trade Center (WTC), Pentagon, and the Shanksville crash sites. 

Following the attack, Congresswoman Maloney began working to establish and fund the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program, which would later develop into the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP), and ensuring compensation for first responders and survivors, by reactivating and restructuring the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).

Before these efforts were solidified into law through the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, which was signed into law by President Obama on January 2, 2011, Congresswoman Maloney introduced various pieces of legislation and fought for funding each year to provide the health monitoring and compensation these heroes deserve. The 2010 law authorized and funded the WTCHP and VCF through October 2016.

The World Trade Center Health Program was permanently extended, and an additional $4.6 billion was provided to fully fund the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 which was signed into law on December 18, 2015. This authorized the VCF through 2020.

In October of 2018, the Special Master first indicated that she expected the VCF to face a funding shortfall. The Congresswoman immediately introduced HR 7062: Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act to fully fund and make permanent the VCF, the bill did not pass before the end of the 115th Congress.

In February of 2019, the Special Master of the VCF announced that the program would need to start awarding less money to first responders, survivors, and their families in order to make the fund last until 2020.

On February 25, Congresswoman Maloney reintroduced the Never Forget the Heroes Act, HR1327 in the 116th Congress.

On June 11, 2019, the House Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on the legislation and then unanimously passed the bill out of committee the very next day.

On July 8, 2019, just five days after NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez’s funeral, the bill’s name was changed to Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act.

On July 15, 2019, the House of Representatives passed HR1327 by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 402-12.

On July 23, the bill passed the Senate on a 97-2 vote.

On July 24, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi held an enrollment ceremony where she signed the bill to send to the President's desk.

It was signed into law on July 29.

Both the World Trade Center Health Program and September 11th Victim Compensation are effectively permanent, with the WTCHP authorized to operate until 2090 and the VCF until 2092.

 

More details on the Zadroga Act are available here:

Resources for the sick and injured:

For other legistlation and related documents click here.

 

More on 9/11 Health and Compensation

Oct 24, 2020 In The News

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration will finally pay back millions the federal government took from the FDNY’s 9/11 treatment program over the last four years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified Rep. Pete King (R-Long Island) late Friday that an alphabet soup of federal agencies — including the Treasury Department — will return $3.3 million that was docked from the program that cares for firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians sickened by exposure to the toxic rubble of the Twin Towers.

Oct 15, 2020 In The News

Months after World Trade Center health advocates accused the Federal Government of siphoning off millions from the Fire Department's 9/11 Health Program, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin has blamed the de Blasio administration for the loss of the funds and asserted it should make them up.

On Sept. 17, 21 Democratic and five Republican Members of Congress—all but one member of the state's delegation—wrote Mr. Mnuchin to demand that the funding be restored "immediately."

Turn Money Loose

Oct 9, 2020 In The News

WASHINGTON -- Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has a message for ailing 9/11 city firefighters whose funding his agency has withheld: we’re not giving your money back - go ask NYC.

For years, the U.S. Treasury Department has withheld nearly $4 million from the FDNY’s World Trade Center Health Program to satisfy still-unexplained debts that other, unrelated city agencies have with the feds.

Oct 1, 2020 In The News

WASHINGTON — According to a letter sent to New York lawmakers late Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury Department has agreed to stop siphoning cash away from the Fire Department’s 9/11 treatment program, but it remains unclear when or if the FDNY would get its missing money back.

The federal agency began docking payments meant to care for ill firefighters and EMTs back in 2016 in a move that was never explained to the FDNY’s World Trade Center Treatment program.

Sep 18, 2020 In The News

The U.S. Treasury Department has claimed for a week that it was bound by law to take millions of dollars away from the New York City Fire Department’s treatment fund, but a review by the Daily News and by lawmakers irate over the vanishing dollars found that is not the case.

The Fire Department’s chief medical officer blew the whistle last week on $3.7 million that Treasury has docked from his funding stream since 2016, putting the effort to treat sickened 9/11 responders in a serious cash crunch.

Sep 17, 2020 Press Release

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Peter King (R-NY), lead sponsors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, its reauthorization, and the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act, today led 23 members of the New York Delegation in urging Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to immediately release the $3.7 million in reimbursements currently being withheld from the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).

Sep 17, 2020 In The News

In a rare show of bipartisanship, New York’s congressional delegation joined Thursday in demanding that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin “immediately" restore millions of dollars that the Trump administration has withheld from the FDNY’s 9/11 health care program.

The unusual call for action came in a letter to Mnuchin signed by all of the delegation’s 21 Democratic members and five of its Republican ones — with Ithaca-area GOP Rep. Tom Reed being the only pol to opt out of the effort.

Sep 11, 2020 In The News

For the 19th time, thousands of family members and elected officials converged on the World Trade Center site Friday morning to remember those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — though this ceremony was unlike any previous commemoration due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sep 11, 2020 Press Release

 

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), sponsor of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act and the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act, released the following statement marking the 19th anniversary of 9/11.

Sep 10, 2020 In The News

NEW YORK — New York lawmakers lambasted the Trump administration Thursday over a report that millions had been taken from a health program for FDNY firefighters battling 9/11-related illnesses.

The Treasury Department withheld nearly $4 million in payments, the New York Daily News reported on the eve of the 19th anniversary of the terror attacks. The payments started dropping four years ago.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who was prime sponsor of a bill to permanently extend the national Victim Compensation Fund, slammed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.