Deadline approaching to register for 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund

Jul 24, 2021
In The News

The 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks is approaching, and so is an important deadline for registering with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

Many of those suffering from health problems or with a loved one who died as a result of exposure to the toxins unleashed by the World Trade Center’s collapse have just days to register with the fund or risk missing out on assistance.

What You Need To Know

  • Everyone with a 9/11-related physical health condition certified before July 29, 2019 must register with the fund by Thursday, July 29
  • The same deadline applies for those looking register someone who died before July 29, 2019
  • It is not just first responders who are eligible. People who lived or worked in Lower Manhattan are as well
  • The deadline does not apply to everyone. Those who died or got sick after July 29, 2019 have different deadlines

Everyone with a 9/11-related physical health condition that was certified by the World Trade Center Health Program before July 29, 2019 must register with the fund by this upcoming Thursday, July 29.

People looking to register someone who died of a 9/11-related illness before July 29, 2019 also face the same deadline.

The upcoming deadline does not apply to everyone. Anyone who becomes sick after July 29, 2019 has a two-year window after their condition is certified by the WTC Health Program to register. If a loved one dies from a 9/11-related condition after July 29, 2019, there is also a two-year window following the death date to register.

Registration is not the same as filing a claim, but it does preserve the right to file one in the future.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who long advocated for making the fund permanent, encourages anyone who may have been affected by the attack and its aftermath to register, even if they are not currently sick.

“Many of these illnesses take years to affect you and to show up in your bodies,” she said.

It is not just first responders who are eligible. People who lived or worked in Lower Manhattan are as well.

“All you need to do is prove that you were living or working south of Canal Street any time between 9/11 and May of 2002,” said attorney Michael Barasch, who represents 9/11 first responders and victims.

One of those who recently registered is Rolando Vizcarra. His wife, Diana, was working on Wall Street when the planes hit the Twin Towers.

The mom of two later developed cancer and died more than a decade after the attack.

Vizcarra blames the air Diana breathed that day.

“When she tried to cross the Brooklyn Bridge to come back home because we lived in Brooklyn, the dust kind of covered her all over,” he said.

Vizcarra said registering can not bring his wife back, but the chance at getting help has taken some stress off shoulders.

“I know she's proud that I'm doing this for our kids, because our goal was always to do our best for our children,” he said.

More information about the Victim Compensation Fund, including the upcoming deadline, can be found at their website.