What is the WTC Health Program?

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 has provided compensation to many 9/11 victims and their families, but the act has broader implications. The World Trade Center Health Program is another important aspect of the law, and it has even wider coverage than the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. In fact, even many individuals who do not qualify for compensation under the VCF may still be able to receive benefits under the health program.

The World Trade Center Health Program pays for various types of medical treatment and health monitoring. It is available to first responders who were at any one of the three 9/11 attack sites as well as other survivors who were in the Ground Zero area on the day of the attack.

The VCF is limited to those who have been diagnosed with any one of a list of diseases or conditions. The WTC Health Program is similarly limited, but it uses a different list, which is much broader. The WTC Health Program covers the following conditions:

- Many airway and respiratory diseases

- Many digestive disorders

- Many cancers, excluding malignant neoplasm of the brain or pancreas

- Musculoskeletal disorders, including low back pain, carpal tunnel and repetitive motion injury

- Mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

While there is a great deal of overlap between the VCF and WTC Health Program, the most notable expansion is coverage for mental health, a major problem for many 9/11 survivors. While PTSD sufferers do not qualify for compensation from the VCF, they may be able to receive assistance with monitoring, counseling and other mental health services through the WTC Health Program.