Victim Compensation Fund deadline approaching for those diagnosed with illnesses to register
The 20th anniversary of Sept. 11 is approaching, and time is running out for thousands of those who were diagnosed with related illnesses to secure compensation.
FDNY Union Attorney Nicholas Pappain was joined Wednesday by fellow 9/11 victim advocates on Broadway in Manhattan. They reminded New Yorkers of the Victim Compensation Fund deadline, which is in less than 24 hours.
Victims and families have until Thursday at midnight to register with the Victims Compensation Fund if they’ve developed a 9/11-related illness that has been certified by the World Trade Center health program.
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After Thursday, victims and their families can only register their loved ones with the Victim Compensation Fund if their illness was certified within the previous two years. As the clock ticks for those who have not registered for compensation, former FDNY firefighter Rob Serra says it's important that those who have fallen ill get the compensation they deserve.
He says he has developed four certified illnesses because of his efforts at ground zero.
“The hardest part is getting people to accept the help. If you qualify, a lot of us spent many years trying to get the bill passed and the hardest part is trying to get firefighters and police officers to accept help,” said Serra.
Pappain says that since 9/11, more than 200 firefighters have lost their lives due to related illnesses. He’s urging anyone else who has a certified illness to register by Thursday.