Image Credits: AP Photo

Seventeen years after the worst terrorist attack American soil, people are still falling ill and even dying from the effects of that attack.

The September 11th Victims Compensation Fund is working to make sure those individuals are taken care of. Nearly 3000 people died during the attacks in 2001. Since then, nearly 20,000 individuals have been found qualified to receive aid from the compensation fund, which was set up by Congress in 2011. At least 16,000 of these qualified individuals were first responders who worked tirelessly to pull people from the rubble of the Twin Towers.

To put this into perspective, on 9/11/2001, 23 New York City Police Department officers died. Since that day, 156 NYPD officers have died of illnesses related to their actions that day. Their deaths were traced back to their work in the toxic debris of the Twin Towers.

Though the fund is always in the news in September, it is especially important this year because it has been estimated that there is not enough money to help those who’s illness from the debris hasn’t manifested yet. “”We’re not at a point where this is an imminent concern, but it’s one that we obviously all want to keep an eye on so we know what we’re looking at for the future,” said the Special Master of the fund. They estimate they have around 3 billion dollars left, but many of the illness that have occurred so far took over a decade to manifest. It is unclear how many more people will fall ill in the coming years.

The Fund is doing good work though. One NYPD detective who has developed cancer from the event says that the fund has paid 100% of his medical bills while fighting the disease, allowing him to avoid complete bankruptcy.

If you know someone who was around the Twin Towers on 9/11, even if they seem to have no illness related to that time, please tell them to join the World Trade Center Health Fund. It is free to join. They can assist in medical monitoring and treatment in case an illness arises.

The current law on the books allows the Victim’s Compensation Fund to accept claims through December 2020.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member