The Zadroga Act: What It Is, and How It Can Help You

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[author: Michael Barasch]

Since January 2011, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 has offered compensation to first responders and residents of New York City who have developed chronic illnesses after being exposed to hazardous materials. Thanks to tireless advocates, individuals who developed one of 50 types of cancer due to their exposure to toxins will receive compensation for essential medical treatment.

The growing benefits of the Zadroga Act

The profound benefits of this law include medical care to real heroes who risked their lives to save others in the face of tragedy, but are paying the ultimate price today. With this law, regular people and first responders won't have to forego basic household expenses to pay for lifesaving medical treatments or chemotherapy. The covered types of cancer were accepted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health after federal groups suggested that the government cover 14 broad categories of cancer and 50 specific forms of the disease.

Originally, the Zadroga Act covered a limited number of respiratory illnesses that are associated with hazmat exposure at the 9/11 site. Until recently, federal laws did not offer compensation to individuals who developed cancer. The government alleged that this omission was due to a lack of scientific evidence. After years of work, the government has finally corrected this and is offering compensation to the individuals who deserve it most. This is much needed good news for the firefighters and emergency workers who exposed themselves to toxins. These individuals now have a 19 percent higher risk of developing cancer, according to the Fire Department of New York.

Today, anyone who has developed lung cancer, colon cancer, thyroid cancer, or blood cancer following exposure at the 9/11 site will be able to request compensation. Although these breakthroughs have expanded eligibility, funds will expire in 2016 if representatives don't act quickly. If you've developed cancer, contact an aggressive personal injury lawyer today for assistance with filing a Zadroga Act claim.

For more about post-9/11 claims, please see our new website, focused on WTC victims and Zadroga Act claims.