Just days before the September 11, 2018, deadline for workers and volunteers to file a Notice of Participation was set to expire, Governor Andrew Cuomo put his signature on a new law that further extends the filing deadline until September 11, 2022.
“It has been 17 years since the attacks of September 11 changed our world forever, and on that day and the weeks and months that followed, thousands of courageous workers and volunteers put their lives on the line to save others,” Cuomo said. “We will never forget the selfless heroes who did not make it home that day, and we owe first responders and those who aided in the recovery effort an eternal debt of gratitude. This bill rightly and fairly provides 9/11’s brave recovery workers and volunteers the time they need to receive the health benefits and compensation they deserve.”
Previously, the Governor signed legislation on September 11, 2016, to extend the period for individuals to register under the World Trade Center Disability Law to September 11, 2018. This new bill (S.7797-A/A.10499) will allow more individuals additional time to file for Workers’ Compensation, disability, and accidental death benefits as a result of their participation in the World Trade Center rescue, recovery, and clean-up operations. The legislation, which takes effect immediately, also protects claims filed on or before September 11, 2022, if the volunteer or workers’ disability occurred between September 11, 2015 and September 11, 2017. Local 246 members are covered by this new law.
In a press release, Governor Cuomo said he strongly encourages all 9/11 responders to consider using the World Trade Center Health Program for both treatment and monitoring of their health. Responders are seen at the clinics by experts in the field, without charge. This program, also known as the Zadroga Act, is administered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has been funded by the Federal government for 75 years. In addition to treating illnesses, the clinics begin monitoring the health of responders. Services are available at many Clinical Centers of Excellence in New York City, Long Island and New Jersey, as well as through a nationwide network of providers. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/wtc.
Registering simply preserves your right down the road to file a claim if you should become sick with a 9/11-related illness and get the benefits to which you would be entitled. “Registering now does not mean you are currently sick or that you will become sick. Registering is just another form of insurance for the unknown, like major medical insurance or car insurance. You may go a whole lifetime without needing to ever file a claim, but you will be glad you have them if you need them.
For more information on filing a notice of participation, please visit www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/forms/wtc-12.pdf