Deadline to file 9/11 workers comp claim is extended

Photo by Don Pollard, courtesy of the Governor’s Office
A new law will extend the deadline for rescue workers and first responders to file workers’ compensation claims related to the recovery, rescue and clean-up of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan following the Sept. 11 attacks. Another new law will help fund a program to assist victims’ families with college expenses.

The state Senate announced Monday that a measure to preserve benefits for heroes who sacrificed their health and well-being during the September 11th terrorist attack response was signed into law.

The legislation (S.7797-a), sponsored by Senator Martin Golden, R-Brooklyn, extends the ability for participants injured in World Trade Center rescue, recovery or clean-up operations to claim workers’ compensation benefits.

“This new law, that I sponsored, extends the period for our 9/11 first responders who have not yet filed a notice of participation to do so. It also allows for 9/11 first responders who became disabled between September 11, 2015 and September 11, 2017 to file a claim before September 11, 2022. Additionally, this legislation allows for those who had their applications denied to have that application reconsidered. Our first responder heroes of 9/11 deserve assistance in getting every benefit to which they are entitled,” Golden said.

Initially, individuals who participated in the World Trade Center rescue, recovery or clean-up operations had until September 11, 2010, to file the required Notice of Participation and become eligible for workers’ compensation.

This is the third extension of the deadline to enable fair treatment of those who are still getting diagnosed and coping with WTC-related illnesses. The new law also gives individuals who applied and were denied benefits between September 11, 2015 and September 11, 2017, the opportunity to have their claims reconsidered.

New 9/11 license plate will help victims’ families attend college

This year, the Senate passed several bills to enhance benefits and acknowledge the contributions made by 9/11 rescue and recovery workers, police officers, firefighters, and other first responders.

Last month one of those measures (S.6072-b), sponsored by Senator Kenneth LaValle, R-Port Jefferson, was signed into law to create a new special license plate commemorating the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The surcharge collected for the plate will be deposited into the World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship, which provides access to a college education for children, spouses and financial dependents of innocent victims who died or were severely and permanently disabled as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“On September 11, 2001, our nation and, in particular our state, experienced an unforgettable tragedy. Nearly 3,000 New Yorkers lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center,” LaValle said. “The families of those who tragically lost their lives can take some comfort in knowing that no one has forgotten, and feel an additional measure of relief in knowing that their children will have scholarship funds set aside for college tuition.”