• 9/11 Victim Programs
  • Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)
  • WTC Health Program (WTCHP)
  • Wrongful Death VCF Claims

Help for 9/11 Survivors Exposed to Toxins in Lower Manhattan

Marcy Borders stood amid the World Trade Center collapse on Sept. 11, 2001, covered with Ground Zero dust, inhaling the toxic fumes spewing from the crash site. Her photo leaves an indelible mark in the minds of all Americans when they remember September 11, 2001.

That moment is forever frozen in time because of a viral photograph that captured Borders, stylishly dressed for her job as a legal assistant at Bank of America. She became known around the world as “the Dust Lady,” but even more definitively, she represented one of the hundreds of thousands of survivors who happened to be in New York’s financial district on September 11 and the weeks and months that followed.

Specifically, Borders became a 9/11 survivor: Someone who lived, worked or went to school in Downtown Manhattan and the northwest areas of Brooklyn between September 11, 2001, and July 31, 2002. Like Borders, many of these survivors went on to grapple with WTC-related illnesses.

Borders tragically battled stomach cancer, succumbing to the illness in 2015. According to The Guardian, because she did not know she could qualify for healthcare through the World Trade Center Health Program, she also struggled with medical debt.

Now, there’s a push to educate 9/11 survivors about the programs that can help them get free medical treatment and compensation. This initiative will address the challenges faced by 9/11 survivors ­– and the outreach cannot come soon enough.

As reported in the Seattle Times, of the 400,000 survivors, only about 20,000 so far have applied to the World Trade Center Health Program. And more than 300,000 of those survivors do not yet know that they are entitled to free health care through funding from the federal World Trade Center Health Program.

Medical experts say there are as many as 68 types of World Trade Center-linked cancers. Victims have been diagnosed with 9/11-related lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, interstitial lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis, skin cancer, and other grave illnesses. Those who are enrolled in the programs have access to free medical care.

There are many ways the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund can help survivors. The fund compensates those who were in the area from September 11, 2001 through May 30, 2002, for 9/11 related pain and suffering damages, financial loss, out-of-pocket medical expenses and prescriptions, household expenses, and funeral costs.

Signing up for the Victim Compensation Fund can be a painstaking and frustrating process. There are witness affidavits to secure, as well as medical files and earnings records to review and submit properly. For these reasons, working with a skilled attorney who is experienced with the application process can make it easier to file for benefits from the 9/11 Fund. Attorneys at Turley Hansen & Rosasco, LLP have also helped clients apply also for the WTC Health Program, so that they can get free, lifetime medical care for September 11-linked conditions at top hospitals and other health institutions.

Of course, nearly 20 years later, reaching those survivors –­ many of whom may have moved away from the area ­­– may seem impossible. But advocates, including Turley Hansen & Rosasco, LLP say they are committed to letting people know about the necessary and available assistance.

Give us a call today at 1-800-887–7299. A member of our team of highly qualified James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 lawyers is ready to give you help and guidance in filing a claim with the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. To learn more about September 11th Victim Compensation Fund eligibility, click here.