For Immediate Release – September 9, 2015
Contact: Ben Chevat, Ben.Chevat@renew911health.org
New Stats Show 9/11 Victim Comp. Fund Has Expended Over 50% of Funding With Thousands of Claims Still Pending
New York, NY — Today, September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) Special Master Sheila Birnbaum announced that the Fund has issued compensation awards totaling $1.443 billion -more than 50% of the VCF’s $2.7 billion in federal funding- to 6,285 ailing 9/11 responders. A total of 12,150 9/11 responders and survivors have been deemed eligible for compensation, with another 2,468 claims under review.
Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act issued the following statement in response to the Special Master’s announcement:
“We commend VCF Special Master Birnbaum and her staff for extending nearly $1.5 billion in aid to ailing 9/11 responders – expending more than 50% of the VCF’s funding. While the Fund is making good progress in delivering this long-overdue help, there are many thousands of claims still to be paid.
“We must reauthorize the Fund, which expires next year, and make sure there is sufficient funding to fully pay all awards for the disabled heroes and heroines of the 9/11 attacks. Unless Congress extends the Zadroga Act, these individuals could have their compensation awards cut in half or more — and those who are diagnosed with cancer in future years would not have access to compensation for their inability to work.
“By renewing the Zadroga Act, we can avoid this injustice and repay our moral and financial debt to those who came to our nation’s rescue on and after 9/11.
“Congress must act to ensure that all eligible claims, now and in the future, can be fully covered. The need is real – we will see if Washington’s vow to “remember 9/11” is real, too.”
Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act is a coalition of advocates dedicated to helping injured and dying 9/11 responders and survivors. The advocates are calling on Congress to reauthorize the federal law that established the VCF and vital health care programs to treat and monitor 9/11-related illnesses and injuries.