Obama signs bill to benefit 9/11 survivors and first responders; but beware of other settlements

President Obama has signed a bill that will provide benefits for survivors of the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks, including Ground Zero first responders.

In August 2009, the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine published an article entitled,  Multiple Myeloma in World Trade Center Responders: A Case Series.  The study concluded by noting, “[we observed] an unusual number of [Multiple Myleoma] cases in WTC responders under 45 years. This finding underscores the importance of maintaining surveillance for cancer and other emerging diseases in this highly exposed population.”

“I believe this is a critical step for those who continue to bear the physical scars of [the 9/11 attacks]” said Obama.  The Act – The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act – is named after a New York police officer who passed away as a result of a disease he contracted from Ground Zero.

Congress passed the Act after some expected bargaining on cost. The final version of the Act will come with a $4.2 to $4.3 billion price tag.  FOX reported that this money will be raised by a fee charged to foreign companies that receive certain contracts from the U.S. government.   
The Bill took a long time…some workers have waited nine years for this assistance.  But there is a small catch to this measure.  The New York Post reports that thousands could potentially lose the benefits from the Act if they choose to become involved in a settlement between the Port Authority and private businesses that were involved with cleanup.  This choice stems from one of the requirements to receive benefits under the Act; recipients can’t accept payments from other sources.

Image: thephotoholic /

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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