The September 11 Victim Compensation Fund remains open despite the federal government shutdown, and tomorrow is the deadline for many 9/11 victims to register. Initial registration ends today for residents, students, volunteers, and rescue, recovery and clean-up workers at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon ad Shanksville, Pa., crash sites who knew about their illness by Oct. 3, 2011.
The Victim Compensation Fund has nearly doubled the number of phone lines for its helpline and has added staff because of high call volume. The helpline number is 855-885-1555.
No documentation is required to register. The fund has $2.78 billion dollars to give to victims.
“The biggest issue with registration is getting people to be aware that they need to register,” said Ben Chevat, executive director of 9/11 Health Watch, a nonprofit that has a countdown clock to the deadline on its website.
People who have one of the dozens of cancers Congress added to the list of World Trade Center-related health conditions Oct. 12, 2012 have two years from that date to register. Anyone who learned of a health condition after Oct. 12, 2012 has to register by Oct. 12, 2014.
Documentation and forms for everyone are due by Oct. 3, 2016, five years after the Victim Compensation Fund was reopened.
As of Sept. 15, the fund had received 25,548 completed registrations, made compensation decisions on 78 cases and paid out $13.7 million. Since then, it has received more than 6,000 completed registrations, for a total of nearly 32,000.
Everyone has to file all the required forms by Oct. 3, 2016—five years from when the fund was reopened. The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 restarted the fund and created the WTC Health Program. Zadroga a New York City detective who spent hundreds of hours at Ground Zero, was 34 when he died in 2006 of lung disease. He lived in White Plains.
Read more about the fund in tomorrow’s Journal News and on lohud.com.