Press Release

With Only 11 Days Remaining…Gillibrand, Victim Compensation Fund Special Master Sheila Birnbaum, Union and Community Leaders Urge All Eligible Sick and Injured 9-11 Responders and Survivors to Register for Compensation Before the Oct. 3rd Deadline

Sep 23, 2013

New York, NY – With only 11 days before the October 3rd deadline for injured and sick 9-11 first responders, recovery workers, and survivors to register for economic compensation through the 9-11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, VCF Special Master Sheila Birnbaum, union and community leaders, and 9-11 first responders and survivors in urging all eligible injured and sick 9-11 first responders and survivors to quickly register without any delay. The James Zadroga 9-11 Health and Compensation Act passed by Congress in 2010 re-opened the VCF to ensure that survivors are compensated for losses as result of breathing in Ground Zero toxins. Responders and survivors who were injured, or already sick, must register by the Oct. 3rd deadline, or they will not be able to file a claim and secure the financial assistance they have earned.

“Our 9-11 heroes, survivors, and my colleagues fought hard to ensure that Congress fulfilled its undeniable moral obligation by providing long-overdue health care and compensation for 9-11 responders and community survivors,” said Senator Gillibrand. “As the deadline for applying to the 9-11 Victim Compensation Fund nears its final days, we urge all of our eligible first responders and community survivors exposed to toxins at Ground Zero to hear our voices loud and clear — sign up now. It is my great hope that we do not have a single injured responder or community survivor miss their chance on the help and assistance they have earned.” 


“It is absolutely essential that we continue reminding 9-11 first responders and survivors to, please, remember to register with the Victim Compensation Fund, by the Oct. 3, 2013 deadline, which is just 11 days away,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “The economic compensation provided through the Zadroga Act’s VCF is absolutely essential for first responders and survivors. I would hate for anyone who is eligible for economic compensation to be left behind. Please register.”

“I urge all survivors and responders who may be eligible to register for the VCF by October 3rd, so that they may get the compensation they deserve,” said Congressman Jerry Nadler. “This deadline is fast approaching, and individuals must register now to preserve their rights and ability to file a claim should they need assistance.  We can never forget those who we lost twelve years ago on 9-11, and we can never stop fighting for those who became ill or continue to suffer since those first fateful days.”


“Our New York Senators and Members of the House of Representatives have been helping to get the word out that there is a deadline of October 3, 2013 for registration with the VCF,” said Sheila Birnbaum, Special Master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. “As a result the number of registrations has surged to over 30,000 registrations submitted. As the October 3 deadline approaches, we encourage all those who are sick or injured as a result of the 9-11 events to register and seek compensation for their injuries with the VCF.”  

“Time is running out, and with it so too is the chance for benefits under the Victims Compensation Fund for 9-11 survivors and responders,” said Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO.  “It’s incumbent upon all of us as New Yorkers to ensure that those whose lives were forever changed by the terrorist attacks are aware of their rights and responsibilities under the law.”


“The Uniformed Fire Officers Association, representing over 7000 active and retired members, the leaders of the Bravest, strongly urge our colleagues in the 9-11 community to register for the VCF,” said Richard Alles, Deputy Chief of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association. “Our first responders are at all times quick to deploy to calls for help, but struggle with the concept of asking for help for themselves.”


“On September 11th, 2001, 23 NYPD officers immediately sacrificed their lives on behalf of the nation and its families,” said Patrick Lynch, President of the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. “In the more than 12 years since then, many more NYPD officers have given their lives because of the toxins they were exposed to by participating in the rescue-and-recovery effort. If you are an NYPD officer injured or sickened from your work at Ground Zero and other post-9-11 sites, the PBA urges you to protect yourself and your family by signing up in time to get the compensation you deserve.”


“Success will be measured by no one left out by the October 3rd deadline, if one person is left out, then we all failed,” said John Feal, President of the FealGood Foundation.


“Take 5 minutes to complete the VCF form if you are sick from 9-11, and please provide a helping hand by spreading the word to those that came, lived, studied or worked here in those dark days and by  helping them register,” said Catherine McVay Hughes, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 1.


The financial compensation made available through the VCF applies to injured and sick 9-11 first-responders and survivors. Those sites include not only the World Trade Center, but also the Pentagon and the Shanksville, PA crash sites. 


Those who believe they are eligible for compensation can register by visiting the VCF’s website at or calling the VCF  Helpline at 1-855-885-1555.


The VCF website has a significant amount of information regarding eligibility and the registration process, but injured and ill 9-11 first responders and survivors should be aware of the following:


  • Most must register by the Oct. 3 deadline, or they will not be able to file a claim.


  • Even if you are enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program and are receiving its health benefits, or are in the World Trade Center Health Registry, you must register with  the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.