Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) hailed the passage in the Senate of the Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act to ensure that 9/11 victims are fully compensated for their losses. This bipartisan legislation ensures that all 9/11 first responders and survivors suffering from injuries related to the attacks or to exposure at Ground Zero who have certified 9/11 illnesses receive their full compensation through the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) now and into the future as more become ill. The bill also closes the funding gap recently announced by the VCF Special Master.
“Many of the survivors of 9/11, as well as the brave men and women who responded to the call for help on September 11th, continue to suffer from respiratory disease, cancer and other ailments. Each and every one of them deserves the financial support to cope with their illnesses and provide for their families. On September 11th, first responders didn’t hesitate to stand up for us, and I’m proud to do the same for them.”
On February 15, 2019, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund announced that due to a funding shortfall, injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors would receive cuts to the awards that they were expecting of 50% for pending claims and 70% for future claims. After waiting years for compensation that they need and deserve, thousands faced dramatically reduced awards.
In the years since 9/11/2001, thousands of 9/11 responders and survivors have become ill, and many have lost their lives, from exposure to a toxic cocktail of burning chemicals, pulverized drywall and powdered cement that was present at Ground Zero. After years of urging Congress to act, in 2010 and again in 2015, legislation was passed to provide medical monitoring and treatment through the World Trade Center Health Program and compensation through the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for thousands made sick by the toxins at Ground Zero as well as at the Pentagon and the Shanksville, PA crash site.
This legislation ensures that the VCF is fully funded and will remain open for those who will become ill in the future.