State Senator Craig M. Johnson, (D-Port Washington), is urging those involved in the rescue, recovery or cleanup efforts at the World Trade Center after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to register with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board by Tuesday, August 14.
“September 11th was a day of horrific loss that was met with an unprecedented outpour of valor and selflessness,” Senator Johnson said. “On that day, and in the days that followed, volunteers -- including many from Long Island -- sacrificed their time and in some cases their health for the important work that needed to be done at Ground Zero.”
Last year, the New York State Legislature passed legislation extending the registration deadline for any 9-11 volunteer exposed to contaminated dust and smoke to August 14. So far, roughly 4,000 of the 100,000 eligible individuals have filed a claim.
Johnson stressed the need for volunteers to register with the board, even if they are currently healthy, in order to lock in their right to file a future Workers’ Compensation claim for a 9-11-related illness.
“Sometimes it can take years for symptoms to manifest,” Senator Johnson said. “If and when they do occur, and you have not registered, you unfortunately will not be able to receive these benefits.”
Volunteers who worked between September 11, 2001 and September 12, 2002 in Lower Manhattan, on the barge operation between Lower Manhattan and Staten Island, at the Staten Island landfill, or at the New York City morgue are eligible to register. Those denied a previously filed claim are encouraged to re-file.
If a claim is approved, Workers’ Compensation will pay 100% of all medical expenses for work-related illnesses as well as mental conditions such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It also pays two-thirds of an average weekly wage, up to $400, if a worker cannot work due to a 9/11-related sickness or injury.
Senator Johnson said those seeking additional information or eligibility requirements may call the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health hotline at 1-866-WTC-2556. Information in English and Spanish – as well as the necessary forms to file – can be found at the NYCOSH website at www.nycosh.org.