Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed into law legislation that again extends the deadline for 9/11 responders to file for state workers’ compensation benefits.
Individuals involved in 9/11 rescue, recovery or cleanup efforts will have until Sept. 11, 2022, to file for workers’ compensation benefits. The new law also allows those who were denied the benefits between September 2015 and September 2017 to submit or re-file claims.
Reports estimate that about 90,000 people were involved in cleanup efforts at the World Trade Center site following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, including CSEA members through employment at state and local government agencies and off-the-job volunteer efforts.
CSEA strongly supported the legislation extending the deadline.
“Public employees were the first ones in [the World Trade Center site]and the last ones out,” CSEA President Danny Donohue said. “So many people who gave so much after that terrible day now need help themselves, and we won’t know how many more people will need these benefits in the future.”
The people at the site were exposed to numerous toxic chemicals caused by the attacks, including asbestos, carbon monoxide and other disease-causing particles.
The state and federal governments established registry and health monitoring programs to help responders and others in the Ground Zero area get adequate health care and compensation for lost wages.
As expected, tens of thousands responders have become prematurely ill, and many experts expect that the number of deaths caused by post-attack exposure to toxins will outpace the number of people who died in the attacks.
To learn more about resources available to 9/11 responders, visit cseany.org/osh/wtc.