Deadline nearing for workers sickened by 9/11 work to apply for help

Aug. 19, 2013 at 1:20 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- People who went to New York City to help after the Sept. 11 attacks and became sick as a result have only a short time left to sign up for aid, officials say.

A nationwide campaign aims to alert workers from cities around the United States that the deadline for filing for compensation is Oct. 3, the New York Daily News reported Monday.

Some 100,000 people searched through the rubble of the World Trade Center and those that don't live in the New York City area may not be aware help for their financial losses and health care costs is available, said Ben Chevat, executive director of the nonprofit 9/11 Health Watch.

As part of the campaign, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has written almost 150 agencies across the country to alert them of the deadline.

The Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund, from which the money is paid, is also working the Federal Emergency Management Agency to notify regional search-and-rescue teams deployed to New York, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania after the attacks.

Fund administrator Sheila Birnbaum advised anyone unsure if they qualified for the assistance to go ahead and register by the deadline. Eligibility will be determined at a later date.

The Oct. 3 deadline is for people who developed covered noncancerous illnesses before Oct. 3, 2011. Workers with covered cancers have until Oct. 12, 2014, to register.

Register online at vcf.gov or call 855-885-1555.

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