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Governor Hochul Passes Multiple Bills Supporting 9/11 Survivors, First Responders, And Their Families

A few days before the 21st anniversary of 9/11, Governor Kathy Hochul signed several bills supporting 9/11 survivors and their families. These laws address several provisions and delays in the Victim Compensation Fund and workers’ compensation rights.

What Type Of Legislation Is Being Passed To Help 9/11 Victims?

The governor signed four main bills to protect the rights of 9/11 survivors and their loved ones:

Legislation S.6810

Legislation S.6810 would create a more straightforward way to obtain Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) awards and streamline the bureaucratic process. The new provision will be based solely on non-economic damages like emotional pain and suffering. With this legislation, the VCF would clearly distinguish between monetary and intangible losses for those affected. Before Governor Hochul passed this measure, VCF awards were mainly based on wrongful acts directly causing the victim’s death. You would then have to file an appeal to the Surrogate’s Court to receive your funds.

Legislation S.9294A

With Legislation 9294A, 9/11 victims with a disability between September 11, 2017, and September 11, 2021, have until September 11, 2026, to file their claim. If they filed an application during this time and it was rejected, the Workers’ Compensation Board will review their case again. Public retirement system applicants will also receive an extension until September 11, 2026, to submit their paperwork.   

Legislation S.6812

Legislation S.6812 legally requires the VCF Award to treat all World Trade Center terrorist attack survivors equally when they file their claim, regardless of whether the incident caused the victim’s death. The new provision also simplifies the administrative process and reduces the waiting time for victims to receive their benefits. It also allows personal representatives or loved ones affected by a 9/11 illness to process claims.

Legislation S.9370

Lastly, Legislation S.9370 will provide a presumption of innocence for medical conditions or deaths of survivors who participated in the World Trade Center rescues, clean-ups, and relief efforts. Before the legislation, 9/11 victims would have been denied without a reasonable cause. Victims could also not file claims before the CDC World Trade Center Health Program’s certified illnesses were accepted as presumptive causes, which caused them to miss the statute of limitations. These victims and their families will have another opportunity to seek compensation for their losses.

How Will These Laws Benefit 9/11 Survivors?

As Governor Hochul states, these new laws will “support and honor those whose lives were transformed on that terrible day.”  These new laws will provide the necessary protections for 9/11 victims. Besides getting another opportunity to qualify for benefits, victims will now have more time to submit their applications and receive the benefits they deserve.

Our Experienced Team Of Lawyers Can Help

If you were a 9/11 survivor, you have the right to claim the benefits you and your loved ones are entitled to. Our team of New York attorneys will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have about your case. Call us at 855-622-7686 or fill out our website’s contact form to schedule a free trial consultation today. We serve Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and more.

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