On June 2, 2016, the Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (“STAC”) of the World Trade Center Health Program will hold a public meeting at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building at 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY.
The STAC was established by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 to review scientific and medical evidence and make recommendations to the WTCHP Administrator, Dr. John Howard, on eligibility criteria and additional covered conditions. The 2015 reauthorization of the Zadroga Act provided changes to the WTCHP’s process for making additions to the list of covered conditions which must be addressed by the STAC.
For example, WTCHP is now required to provide for an independent peer review of the scientific and technical evidence that would be the basis for an additional covered condition. To address this change, the Administrator will ask the STAC help identify independent peer reviews including specific individuals and/or a process to identify such individuals.
Additionally, the STAC must review and evaluate the policies and procedures that WTCHP currently uses to determine whether a health condition should be added to the list of covered conditions. To address this issue, the Administrator will ask the STAC to make recommendations on the current policies and procedures.
As mentioned in an earlier blog post, the WTCHP recently rejected a petition to add peripheral neuropathy to the list of covered conditions. It will be interesting to see whether the WTCHP’s new procedures have any effect on a future petition to add peripheral neuropathy to the list of covered conditions. Those who were in Lower Manhattan on or after 9/11 should be aware that conditions are not eligible for compensation unless they are on the WTCHP list of covered conditions. For example, cancer was originally not covered by either the WTCHP or the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
Call Pitta & Baione LLP at 1-844-WTC-COMP to speak with an attorney about whether you may be eligible for benefits under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.