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First Responders to 9/11 Tragedy Won’t Get Cancer Compensation

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The 9/11 tragedy affected all of us in one way or another, and the impact reaches beyond just those people living and working in NYC or the Pentagon. Volunteers from all over traveled to ground zero, including some from Hampton Roads, Virginia (VA), to help out with the recovery mission.

A report released by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on July 26, 2011, concluded that evidence did support adding cancer to the list of illnesses for which 9/11 responders receive health benefits under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The controversial decision has many outraged.

In January 2011, after a long battle, President Barack Obama signed the $4.2 billion legislation to provide health care for those who helped to clear and search for human remains at the World Trade Center. About 20,000 of the people who responded to the 9/11 attacks have had some kind of medical procedure related to their service.

Named after a police detective who died at the young age of 34 after working at ground zero, the Zadroga Act guarantees that those facing health problems related to September 11 will be monitored and receive treatment until 2015. It also requires the administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program established by the act to review medical evidence to determine if there is reason to add cancer to the list of covered diseases.

The decision not to provide coverage for cancer treatments followed the first periodic review of what the Zadroga Act. Results from the next review, which health program officials have promised will include a look at cancer cases among the some 60,000 9/11 first responders being monitored, are expected in mid-2012.

The news is disappointing to Zadroga Act sponsors Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler and Republican Rep. Peter King, as well as to 9/11 responders and survivors who have been diagnosed with cancer. The U.S. lawmakers said many ill people are suffering while awaiting benefits.

About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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  1. David Howard says:
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    Google “China Syndrome at the WTC” … http://wtc-chinasyndrome.blogspot.com/