The federal compensation fund for victims of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks closed in 2003 after paying out billions of dollars to the families of those lost and injured workers. Since then, thousands of workers involved in the post-9/11 rescue operations and cleanup have come forward complaining of respiratory issues and other health problems.
In total, around 10,000 individuals have made personal injury claims.
Because many of these health issues appeared after the victim-compensation fund had already closed, the firefighters, police officers and construction workers involved have had trouble collecting. However, Thursday saw the announcement of a potential $712.5 million settlement revision. More than $50 million was added to a previous pact with World Trade Center workers for around $660 million.
Payment from the fund will be based on the severity of injury present in each individual, and severity will be measured according to a pre-existing formula. The formula takes into account factors such as whether or not the individual in question was a habitual smoker before working at the World Trade Center.
Even Trade Center workers who have not yet developed injuries, but can show sufficient evidence that they might may be able to claim a few thousand dollars.
For the $712.5 million fund to be approved, a full 95 percent of the 10,000 workers currently seeking compensation must agree to proceed under its direction. Those seeking financial settlements have a few months, until September 30, to agree or disagree to the pact’s terms.