Cresskill, NJ: Three days before the thirteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, federal lawmakers and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called for the reauthorization of the Zadroga Act. Later this month, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will introduce a bill requesting a 25 year extension (until 2041) into the U.S. Senate. Proponents of the extension, fearing it will meet with stiff opposition from Republicans, argue that the extension is not a New York issue, but a national issue as people came from all over the country to work on the Ground Zero clean up. Meanwhile, as payouts to qualified claimants lag, needy 9/11 heroes are going without necessary compensation. RD Legal Funding, LLC (“RD Legal”), through its expedited settlement funding program, can help provide funds immediately.
During the 9/11 attacks, 2053 people died. Since that day, over 30,000 responders and survivors have become ill due to exposure to toxic dust at Ground Zero. 2,900 people have died of 9/11 related cancers. Over 70 firefighters and 60 New York City Police Department personnel have died. The Zadroga Act passed into law in 2010 to extend the original 9/11 Victim’s Compensation Act to provide health care and compensation for economic loss to these people and their families. The Act covers 67 illnesses including chronic asthma, over 60 different types of cancer, pulmonary disease, and gastro-esophageal reflux disease (source).
Thirteen years after the attacks, people continue to be diagnosed with 9/11 related illnesses. Many of the cancers caused by exposure to 9/11 toxins take decades to become perceptible. Many of the illnesses require long-term care. Sadly, unless it is extended, the heath care portion of Zadroga is set to expire in October, 2015, and the compensation component ends in October 2016. Those whose diagnoses are not made until after 2016, will not be eligible for any compensation.
The 9/11 heroes should have access to health monitoring and medical care throughout their lifetimes. However, even those with the most generous insurance find their coverage exhausted by the extremely high costs of their medical care. Many who are unable to work find themselves with no coverage at all.
The Zadroga bill was originally budgeted at $7.4 billion but was cut to $4.3 billion to secure bipartisan support. No estimate has yet been provided for the cost of the reauthorization.
To date, although over 30,000 people have registered for compensation, only about $14 million has been paid out. Once an applicant is qualified and receives an award letter, they receive only ten percent of their award. The lion’s share will not be paid until late 2016 at the earliest.
However, many ill first responders cannot wait two more years for the bulk of their award. RD Legal can help. To access the second portion of your award, contact Joseph Genovesi, President of RD Legal, at 800-565-5177, ext. 140. Or, the process can begin immediately by filling out a brief online application. RD Legal’s post-settlement funding program has no hidden fees, fine print, upfront expenses or monthly payments. No payment of any kind is required until the Zadroga award is received. Founded in 1998, RD Legal is one of the nation's leading providers of lawsuit settlement funding.