The 20th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy is less than two months away.
There will be many commemorations, many reflections on how downtown New York and the country has changed since then. But for the people who lived and worked downtown during that time and are still with us, this is also time to take stock of their own health.
The federal government has created two programs to assist the 300,000 people who lived and worked downtown, the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. One of those programs is up against a deadline that is expiring this week.
We talk with Chris Sorrentino, a market maker who worked on the NYSE floor for 24 years before and after 9/11, and Michael Barasch, an attorney who has been involved in 9/11 health issues.
Sorrentino is a cancer survivor and discusses how the Health Program helped pay for his medical expenses.
Barash discusses the Victim Compensation Fund, which was set up to compensate people who have illnesses linked to 9/11 and have experienced pain, suffering and lost income. Jon Stewart was instrumental in obtaining a permanent extension of this fund. However, there is a deadline approaching for a key part of the program.
The law requires that all claims be submitted within two years of the WTC Health Program certifying an illness, and within two years of someone's death. The VCF Special Master has extended the deadline for family members to register claims on behalf of loved ones who died of 9/11 illnesses more than two years ago, but the deadline expires on July 29, 2021.
Barash explains how both these programs work and how those worked downtown can apply for them.