As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the country, lawmakers in Congress are considering establishing a benefits fund for essential workers. The Pandemic Heroes Compensation system would be modeled on the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which provides monetary benefits to 9/11 responders and survivors.
At Pitta & Baione, our VCF attorneys are monitoring the situation closely so that we can help essential workers get the full benefits available if and when the pandemic compensation fund is created. We are also available to help essential workers take certain steps now to ensure that they have the strongest possible claims for benefits down the road.
Our lawyers have dedicated their careers to assisting people who were at the front lines of the 9/11 attack. We are committed to providing the same comprehensive legal representation to workers at the front lines of the new healthcare and economic crisis.
The Latest from Congress (Updated 6/1/2020)
A bipartisan group of lawmakers announced their intention to introduce the Pandemic Heroes Compensation Act, federal legislation that would create a benefits program for essential workers. Similar efforts have also been referred to as the creation of “COVID-19 Compensation Fund” or an “Essential Workers Compensation Fund.”
The bill – sponsored by Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Peter King (R-NY), along with Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Tim Kaine (D. Va.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) – would provide compensation for medical costs, lost wages and income and other related expenses for essential workers who have contracted COVID-19. It would also extend benefits to family members who live with an essential worker and became sick through contact with the worker.
The legislation is likely to be referred to various congressional committees and may be the subject of a hearing once it is formally introduced. Although lawmakers may consider it as a standalone measure, the bill could also be included in the next possible round of federal virus response legislation.
In the meantime, there are steps that essential workers can take now to help bolster their potential benefits claims. That includes documenting your exposure to the coronavirus, as well as any medical records confirming an infection or detailing a course of treatment for the disease. Documentation will also likely be key to describe the medical and financial toll that the virus has taken on you or a family member.
How Our VCF Attorneys Can Help
If you or a loved one is looking for more information on the potential benefits program for essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic, we can help. New and existing clients can continue to contact us around the clock.
For more information about eligibility requirements of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and the World Trade Center Health Program, contact a lawyer at Pitta & Baione LLP at 844-WTC-COMP or firstname.lastname@example.org.