September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) Qualifications

Were you present at an eligible 9/11 exposure site in the nine months following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001? 

If you were at an exposure site between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002 and are suffering from a World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) certified illness, you may be approved for 9/11 VCF eligibility and could receive compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (9/11 VCF). Anyone who was there in that time frame is encouraged to register with the 9/11 VCF,  whether you have been diagnosed with a WTCHP certified illness or not.

Researchers estimate that almost half a million people who worked, resided, or attended a school or daycare in Lower Manhattan were exposed to toxic substances months after the attacks.

What are the 9/11 Exposure Sites and approved time frames?

Including the Lower Manhattan NYC Exposure Zone (below Canal Street) there are 4 locations that qualify an individual for “presence” in an exposure zone. 

  • New York City Exposure Zone, South of Canal Street
  • Fresh Kills Landfill Staten Island, NY and all routes of debris removal
  • Pentagon crash site, Washington, DC
  • Shanksville, PA crash site

Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, thousands of individuals arrived at disaster sites to aid with rescue efforts, cleaning duties, and utility-service restoration. In addition to first responders, workers and volunteers, Lower Manhattan employees, residents, students, teachers and visitors were advised they could resume their daily lives despite the area being littered with debris and active fires. Hundreds of thousands who entered the areas between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002 were exposed to airborne pollutants, carcinogens, and alkaline air quality linked to debilitating and life-threatening illnesses.

The New York City Exposure Zone

Click to enlarge New York City Exposure Zone map

The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (9/11 VCF) acknowledges that the pollution caused by the debris of the fallen buildings affected neighborhoods beyond the immediate World Trade Center’s (WTC) campus. The New York City (NYC) Exposure Zone is a term used to describe the area (as defined by the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund) where toxic dust settled over Lower Manhattan. The NYC Exposure Zone begins at the bottom point of Lower Manhattan, north to Canal Street, eastward to the East River and across to the Hudson River. In addition to Lower Manhattan, the NYC Exposure Zone also includes the Freshkills Landfill in Staten Island and all routes of debris removal.  

Are you eligible to collect
9/11 Cancer Compensation?

What does the VCF consider the immediate aftermath for 9/11 VCF eligibility?

  • September 11, 2001 - May 30, 2002
  • Compensation for specific illnesses may vary based on the date of diagnosis and the dates and amount of time spent in an Exposure Zone

Who is eligible for compensation through the 9/11 VCF?

Those who spent time in an exposure zone in the 8 1/2 months following September 11, 2001, can register to determine their 9/11 VCF eligibility, including:

  • First Responders
  • Wall Street 
  • Bankers
  • NYC & Utility Workers
  • Hotel & Restaurant
  • Insurance
  • Residents
  • Teachers
  • Students
  • Tourists
  • Visitors

Have you been
9/11 diagnosed with Cancer?

It’s just a constant fight...Twenty years later, and I’m still suffering. Every time you think you have something fixed, something else kicks off.
~ Andrew Pillay | 9/11 Survivor Living with 9/11-related Illnesses

Are responders, civilians & survivors still developing 9/11-related illnesses?

Aerial view of Ground Zero following the 9/11 attacks

Yes, numerous first responders and survivors who attempted to escape the dust storm that engulfed Lower Manhattan after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers continue to develop 9/11-related illnesses including over 70 cancers and several aerodigestive disorders like GERD and COPD. Unfortunately, the dust cloud was practically inescapable and thousands of people inhaled toxic air which contained harmful substances including asbestos, cement dust, lead and glass fibers - vapors which have been described as similar to “inhaling powdered lye or Drano.” The high pH level of the air around the World Trade Center following the attack has been identified as the cause of “World Trade Center cough” which many survivors still experience.

Days after the attacks, government officials advised that it was safe to return to the area near Ground Zero, but that hugely inaccessible assessment exposed everybody who spent time in Lower Manhattan to its toxic environment. In addition to the thousands of police and firefighters who worked on the cleanup, thousands of non-responders (survivors) who spent time in the NYC Exposure Zone, including volunteers, office workers, students, school personnel and visitors have developed different forms of cancer and myriad other serious health issues that are linked to September 11th.

9/11 continues to cause harm to first responders and survivors.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 are still claiming victims and negatively affecting the lives of hundred of thousands. Countless victims are living with 9/11-related health issues - unaware that their conditions are due to exposure at one of the disaster sites. Anyone who was in an exposure area from September 11, 2001 - May 30, 2002 should register with the 9/11 VCF. Those with 9/11-related illnesses can check their 9/11 VCF eligibility. People who were there and now suffer from a certified illness may be entitled to financial compensation from the 9/11 VCF and health care from the WTCHP.