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Zadroga Law

After significant efforts by this union, other unions, and our elected representatives, the Zadroga Bill passed both houses of Congress in one of their last acts before the holiday recess.  On January 2nd, 2011 President Obama signed the bill into law, which will provide significant medical help and financial assistance to those made ill by September 11th exposures. This law represents the culmination of a sustained effort undertaken by this union that began not too long after the events of September 11th and continues to this day, as work still remains to ensure those with some of the most serious illnesses are covered by this legislation.

 The law is effective on July 1, 2011 and will provide $4.3 billion in funding for medical treatment and compensation for those who have been sickened as a result of exposures to toxins after the September 11th attacks. 

Compensation Fund

The details of how members can avail themselves of the compensation components of the law will be forthcoming in the form of regulations. We will inform you as soon as the regulations for the Compensation Fund are enacted.  Since the law becomes effective July 1st, we are likely looking at a number of months before we see the regulations.

In the meantime we urge you to maintain a file of all medical records from the time that you first began testing and treatment for illnesses related to World Trade Center exposure.  Additionally, you should begin to gather and maintain any and all documentary proof of your rescue, recovery and clean-up work at the World Trade Center sites. These documents include memo book entries, line of duty paperwork, exposure reports, roll calls and any other NYPD paperwork related to World Trade Center exposure.

Medical Monitoring & Treatment

Our understanding is that the monitoring and treatment components will largely continue as they have in the past.  For those not already in the program, who participated in rescue, recovery and clean-up and believe they suffer from World Trade Center illnesses, we encourage you to immediately contact the World Trade Center centers of excellence for evaluation and treatment. 

We continue to press to have illnesses not referenced in the current legislation covered. Unlike prior funding, the new legislation provides a vehicle to have those illnesses added.  Although cancers are not among the illnesses covered under the legislation, despite our strong belief that toxic post 9-11 exposures caused a not insignificant number of our members to suffer those illnesses, the legislation requires that the Program Administrator conduct a review of all scientific and medical evidence within 180 days of the statute’s enactment to determine whether cancer or a certain type of cancer should be added to the list of covered illnesses.  The PBA will continue to actively encourage and demand that all those persons and entities responsible for gathering scientific/medical data publish them in a timely fashion in order to help establish the causal link between cancer and other illnesses with World Trade Center exposures.