NYSNA Online Exclusive
9/11 volunteers may qualify for benefits
Eligible workers must register whether or not they are sick
by Diane Pineiro-Zucker
A bill just signed by the governor has eliminated barriers preventing workers and volunteers involved in rescue, recovery, or cleanup work after the collapse of the World Trade Center from receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits.
The law permits workers and volunteers, who worked in lower Manhattan on or after Sept. 11 who may have been exposed to toxic substances, and may become ill on or before Aug. 14, 2007, to register with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.
The law closes a loophole that prevented many workers and volunteers, who became ill after a previous filing deadline, from obtaining benefits.
It applies to paid or unpaid rescue, recovery, or cleanup workers who worked in lower Manhattan south of Canal or Pike streets between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 12, 2002. Anyone whose claim was refused can register and file a new claim under the law. Those who have not filed for workers’ compensation suffered during the rescue or recovery effort should register in case they become ill in the future because of toxic exposure.
The notarized registration form should indicate the dates and locations of the exposure, the employee’s name and, if applicable, the organization for which the employee worked.
Information about registering and filing claims is available online.
With more than 34,000 members, NYSNA is the oldest and largest state nurses’ association in the nation. It is an influential union for RNs, representing nurses in New York and New Jersey. Offering a wide range of services to its members, NYSNA fosters high standards of nursing education and practice and works to advance the profession through legislative activity. It is a constituent of the American Nurses Association and of the United American Nurses, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.