New York, NY – Thousands of lives were saved on 9/11 by union members – the first responders who helped people to safety and initiated search-and-rescue operations.

Michael Barasch.

Then, in the months that followed, labor union members reopened schools and office buildings and subway stations and courthouses, starting New York City and the nation on the path to recovery.

At the time, officials from the federal government claimed the air was safe to breathe.

It wasn’t.

Today, responders and survivors who were exposed to Ground Zero toxins have an increased risk of developing 68 different types of cancer (including skin, prostate, breast, and lung cancers) and many severe respiratory illnesses.

Thanks to the determined advocacy of union leadership and members, Congress passed and later extended the Zadroga Act.

The act created the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) to provide health care and compensation to 9/11 community members who had been harmed and their families.

The health program offers free, comprehensive medical care for 9/11-related illnesses, including mental health.

The compensation fund provides tax-free awards for pain and suffering, lost earnings, and benefits for surviving spouses and family members.

Barasch & McGarry represents more than 30,000 members of the 9/11 community, more than half of whom are union members.

Only one in four eligible 9/11 responders and survivors have registered with the WTC Health Program and the 9/11 VCF.

To register, you must demonstrate that you were in Lower Manhattan, typically through employment records or affidavits from colleagues.

Once you are registered, you and your family are covered if you develop a 9/11-related illness in the future.

If you were in Lower Manhattan on 9/11 or in the eight months that followed, you are eligible to register with the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund — even if you are currently healthy.

Barasch & McGarry, Lawyers for the 9/11 Community, has proudly represented union members for more than twenty-five years. Today, representing over 30,000 members of the 9/11 community, the firm has made it its mission to spread the word about the free health care and compensation available to the entire 9/11 community, which includes nearly 500,000 people who were exposed to the WTC toxic dust.

Visit or call 212-385-8000 for more information.


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