Rep. Maloney on Zadroga Passage Anniversary
With today’s one-year anniversary of Congress passing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), chief House sponsor of the legislation, released the following statement:
“On this one-year anniversary of Congressional passage of Zadroga reauthorization, we are reminded that while resources exist for our first responders and the survivors of the horrific attacks of 9/11, too many – perhaps as many as 30,000 – still have yet to access these programs. We promised to ‘Never Forget’ and to always support and be there for our first responders, survivors and families of those injured and affected by 9/11 and it is up to all of us to see that through. The passage of Zadroga was just the first step. I am so proud to have worked with our first responders to have gotten this legislation passed last year and look forward to our continued work together as we make sure those who need it most are able to access these health and compensation programs.”
Summary of the Final James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization
World Trade Center Health Program Section (score $3.5 billion):
Extends the Health Program to 2090 with only minor revisions
- Adds a requirement that the Administrator provide for an independent peer review of the scientific and technical evidence prior to adding a condition to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions.
- Changes the deadline for the Administrator to act on petitions to add health conditions to within 90 days.
- Sets yearly caps for funding for the health program for the first 10 years and then ties future increases to the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers.
- Allows any unexpended funding in each year to be available for use in future years.
- Requires a GAO report every 5 years to ensure program integrity.
- Other technical changes
Victim Compensation Fund Section (score $4.6 billion)
Extends the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for an additional 5 years and adds an additional $4.6 billion to pay claims. Revisions:
- All applicants that received an award determination letter before the day of enactment will receive the full amount of their award.
- The following caps and limits will apply to any applicant that has not received an award letter by the day of enactment:
- Codification of the legal definition for the exposure area – the area will be the same as that used by the current VCF program but would take an act of Congress to expand the area in the future.
- Non-economic loss awards for cancer claims capped at $250,000.
- Non-economic loss awards for non-cancer claims capped at $90,000.
- The yearly salary maximum for the calculation of economic awards capped at $200,000/year.
- Minimum payments will no longer be provided.
- The Special Master is required to re-evaluate the policies once a year to ensure that spending and award determinations prioritize those suffering from the most debilitating conditions.
- Other technical changes