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WTC VCF Covered Illnesses & Cancers

On September 11, 2001, terrorists crashed a plane into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon building in Washington, D.C. Another plane commanded by terrorists crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, before it could reach its intended target. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives that day and thousands of others suffered lung disease, mesothelioma, thyroid cancer, myeloma, prostate cancer, and related cancers and other health conditions.

You may be eligible for a monetary award, medical monitoring, and healthcare coordination if you suffered an illness due to toxic dust exposure at Ground Zero or another eligible site. The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) exists to provide victims of the terrorist attacks with the income and access to free healthcare they need while battling their illness. However, you must have a qualifying medical condition directly related to toxic dust exposure.

The VCF uses a complex model to determine eligibility for its program. Some of the criteria VCF program administrators consider is your physical location after the terrorist attacks and the amount of time you spent at that location.

You are not required to have been physically present in the New York City Disaster Area on September 11, 2001.

The process of registering and qualifying for financial and medical care benefits is often long, confusing, and frustrating, but Jacob Fuchsberg Victim Compensation Fund Attorneys are here to help. Please contact us at 212-869-3500 to request a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you attain health and financial benefits.

Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys Available to Assist with Your Claim

Jacob Fuchsberg Victim Compensation Fund Attorneys have worked with hundreds of people suffering from poor health effects due to toxic dust exposure at the sites of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Our firm was one of the first in the New York City area to represent victims with respiratory system illness and various types of cancer directly related to the disaster. We assisted recovery workers, first responders, police officers, firefighters, civilians, and many others before establishing the first September 11th Victim Compensation Fund in late 2001. Our attorneys are here to support and fight for you through the entire process.

We will help you determine eligibility for the World Trade Center Health Program and VCF immediately after we begin working with you. This is necessary to certify that you have a qualifying 9/11-related illness. By choosing to work with Jacob Fuchsberg Victim Compensation Fund Attorneys, you have ongoing access to expert legal advice and a higher likelihood of the WTC Health Program and VCF accepting you into the programs. You are also less likely to experience delays in claim processing.

We encourage you to apply to the Victim Compensation Fund even if you received a denial in the past. VCF program administrators added several eligible health conditions in 2019, meaning you could be eligible now when you were previously ineligible.

WTC VCF Covered 9/11 Illnesses & Related Cancers

The total number of unique health conditions covered by the VCF are too numerous to list. However, we can provide a broad overview of categories. An experienced personal injury attorney from Jacob Fuchsberg Victim Compensation Fund Attorneys, would be happy to review additional health conditions during your free consultation to determine if you qualify for the program. Reserve your time today by calling our New York City office at 212-869-3500.

Acute Traumatic Injury

The first versions of the Victim Compensation Fund covered only illnesses caused by toxic dust exposure. Program administrators have since expanded eligibility to include injuries related to working or being in the vicinity of Ground Zero. These injuries include:

  • Bone injury
  • Burns
  • Complex sprains
  • Eye injury
  • Head injury
  • Tendon tear

Other related acute traumatic injuries may also be eligible for inclusion in the VCF.

Aerodigestive Disorders

Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), and sleep apnea are just four of the 13 aerodigestive disorders listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as covered health conditions in this category.


More than 75 types of cancer qualify for inclusion in the VCF program, according to the CDC. Each category listed below could potentially have dozens of sub-categories that also qualify you for VCF participation. Here are the primary types of cancer recognized by the VCF:

  • Blood and lymphoid cancer: The CDC lists 13 broad categories of blood and lymphoid cancer. Leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are among the most common types of cancer in this category.
  • Childhood cancer: Any type of cancer diagnosed in a person under 20 years old qualifies for the program. Children who developed cancer due to exposure to carcinogens after the terrorist attacks typically attended school or daycare in the New York City Disaster Area.
  • Digestive system: The CDC lists eight primary types of digestive system cancer, including cancer of the colon, rectum, and esophagus. Types of cancer in this category also include those of ill-defined organs of the digestive system.
  • Eye and orbit: This category covers nine types of cancer-related to the eye and its orbit, which is the term used to describe the bony skull surrounding the eye socket. Cancer of the cornea or retina is just two examples.
  • Female breast cancer: Women with breast cancer due to toxic dust exposure can apply for VCF benefits if the diagnosis is in one of nine areas of the breast indicated by the CDC, such as the nipple or areola.
  • Female reproductive system: Ovarian cancer is the only type of covered cancer of the female reproductive system.
  • Head and neck: 17 types of cancer appear in this category, including cancer of the tongue, lip, and mouth.
  • Mesothelioma: Your diagnosis of mesothelioma can occur at the pericardium, peritoneum, pleura, or an unspecified other site. This type of cancer originates in the lungs, stomach, heart, or other organs.
  • Rare cancer: The CDC defines rare types of cancer as those that occur in 15 or fewer of every 100,000 people. Because the list is extensive, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Jacob Fuchsberg Victim Compensation Fund Attorneys, to determine your eligibility.
  • Respiratory system: The three main categories of respiratory system cancer include bronchus and lung; heart, mediastinum, and pleura; and other ill-defined sites of the intrathoracic organs and respiratory system. Each main category has approximately a half-dozen sub-categories underneath it.
  • Skin cancer to include melanoma and non-melanoma: The CDC indicates malignant melanoma of the skin and other malignant neoplasms of the skin as the primary types of skin cancer eligible for VCF program participation with 21 sub-categories between them.
  • Soft tissue: Other connective soft tissue and peripheral nerves and autonomic nervous system make up the two main categories of soft tissue cancer. Both classifications have nine sub-categories of soft tissue cancer.
  • Thyroid: Cancer of the thyroid gland is the only eligible health condition in this category.
  • Urinary system: The bladder, kidney, prostate in men, renal pelvis, and ureter make up the human urinary system and other and unspecified urinary organs. The CDC lists nine types of bladder cancer and four classifications of unspecified urinary organs with the other categories standing independently.

Mental Health Conditions

The CDC recognizes that some people experienced devastating emotional trauma after the events of September 11, 2001, even if they did not become physically ill. The government organization has authorized the VCF to accept participants with the following mental health conditions:

  • Acute stress disorder
  • Adjustment disorder
  • Anxiety disorder, not otherwise specified
  • Depression, not otherwise specified
  • Dysthymic disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Substance abuse

If you suffer from one of these mental health conditions, please don't hesitate to get the help you need through the Victim Compensation Fund. We believe you are just as deserving as anyone else and will expertly represent you throughout the application and qualification process.

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Compensation in this category is only available to the World Trade Center first responders who originally sought treatment before September 11, 2003. Eligible health conditions include carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, and other musculoskeletal disorders.

Which 9/11 Programs Do I Qualify For?

You may participate in the World Trade Center Health Program and the Victim Compensation Fund if you have an eligible health condition. Here is what you need to know about each.

World Trade Center Health Program

The WTC Health Program serves four groups of people who suffered a negative health consequence from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. These groups include the Fire Department New York (FDNY), Pentagon and Shanksville First Responders, World Trade CenterFirst Responders, and World Trade Center Survivors who worked, attended school, or lived in the New York City Disaster Area.

The WTC Health Program administrators require extensive documentation for all four categories of affected people. Working with Jacob Fuchsberg Victim Compensation Fund Attorneys, ensures that you do not miss any steps or forms that could result in a delay or denial. While this is all new to you, remember that we have assisted victims of the terrorist attacks on the United States for nearly 20 years. Please contact us with questions or to request your free consultation at 212-869-3500.

Victim Compensation Fund

In 2010, Congress passed legislation titled Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act that created both the World Trade Center Health Program and the Victim Compensation Fund. The legislation bears the name of James Zadroga, a New York City police officer who died in 2006 of pulmonary fibrosis due to his work with rescue and recovery at the World Trade Center. That program ended in 2015, but President Donald Trump granted it permanent reauthorization in 2019.

The 2019 reauthorization also honored Luis Alvarez of the NYPD, who died that same year, and Ray Pfeiffer of the FDNY, who died in 2017. Both worked tirelessly for the permanent reauthorization of the Victim Compensation Fund, the alternative name for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

The VCF provides monetary compensation to any person with a 9/11-related illness who meets program guidelines. Financial benefits are also available to close family members of a first responder, firefighter, police officer, recovery worker, or civilian who died from an illness caused by toxic dust exposure. Call our office today to get started 212-869-3500.