The special master of the Zadroga Act 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, Sheila Birnbaum, released the draft regulations that govern the claims to be filed by 9/11 first responders and others under the 2010 legislation provisions.
The US Justice Department released the regulations and will hold a 45-day period of public comment before final action is taken.
Included in the proposed regulations is the limit on claims for ‘physical harm’. Workers who file claims only for psychological injuries will be limited to receiving medical care but they will not be able to file for monetary compensation from the fund.
The proposed regulations also expand the boundaries covered by the fund to include the residential neighborhoods surrounding the World Trade Center towers. The included areas would be expanded to include all areas of lower Manhattan south of the Brooklyn Bridge as well as Centre and Reade Streets. The regulations also include the proposed adoption of World Trade Center-related illnesses as established by the World Trade Center Health Program and would include lung ailments as well as certain cancers.
As the special master, Birnbaum would be limited to distributing $875 million of the $2.75 billion fund within the first five years. Claimaints may receive their monies from the fund in two payments over several years time under the proposed regulations.
Additionally, the proposed rules by the special master will permit those who received compensation from the original Victim Compensation Fund which was established by Congress to received additional payments if they have experienced further medical conditions related to the terrorist attacks. The original fund had closed in December 2003.