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9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Could Serve as Model for Covid-19 Benefits

July, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has swept a healthcare and economic crisis across the country, including throughout the New York City metro area. As in the September 11 attacks, tragedy has also brought out the best in many people who are risking their own personal safety to assist their communities. It has also raised complicated questions about how to best ensure that essential workers and others who become infected with the disease are protected.

The good news is that there is already a benefits model that has proved to be effective: The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. The VCF is by no means a perfect system, but it has helped many 9/11 survivors, responders and their heirs get vital financial compensation for certain monetary losses associated with the attacks.

At Pitta & Baione, our VCF lawyers have a strong track record of successfully helping people get the benefits they deserve. We are continuing to support clients and work aggressively to get them benefits during this unprecedented time. 

We are also closely monitoring efforts to establish a new COVID-19 compensation fund for responders and essential workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Our firm will be ready to help people seek those benefits if and when a new program is established.

Learn more about how we’re helping the 9/11 community during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Latest on a Federal Pandemic Heroes Compensation Fund

Nothing is ever certain on Capitol Hill, but we are pleased that efforts are already underway to try to establish a compensation system for essential workers impacted by the pandemic.

The Pandemic Heroes Compensation Act (H.R. 2020, S. 3755) would provide benefits to essential workers – and family members who reside with an essential worker – who become infected with Covid-19 and suffer economic loss as a result.   

So far, state workers’ compensation systems are the primary vehicle for getting workers with Covid-19 medical benefits and payment for missed wages. That has created a patchwork of varying systems in which the rules depend largely on where the person lives and works. Although some states have made it easier to prove that a sick worker actually contracted the coronavirus on the joba requirement for workers’ compensation benefits—others continue to pose significant barriers to benefits.

A single federal benefits system would eliminate some of these problems. Although the new legislation’s future is still uncertain, there are some steps that essential workers can take now to start building the strongest possible benefits claim if and when a compensation fund is created. Our VCF lawyers can help.

Speak with our VCF Lawyers Today

If you or a loved one is a 9/11 survivor or responder who is considering seeking benefits – or if you are having trouble getting your claim approved – the September 11th benefits attorneys at Pitta & Baione can help.

For more information about eligibility requirements of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and the World Trade Center Health Program, contact a VCF lawyer at Pitta & Baione LLP at 844-WTC-COMP or [email protected].