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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Zadroga fund payouts to 9/11 responders gain speed as claims process gets 'better'

Today's post is shared from newsday.com/
Nell McCarthy, the deputy special master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, pointed to two boxes. One contained files about 2 inches thick; the other, a file about 2 feet thick.
That, she said in the fund's nondescript Washington, D.C., offices, showed the range of differences among claims filed by 9/11 responders.
The thinner file was submitted online by a former first responder in law enforcement who had hired an experienced lawyer. The second was filed by a former deliveryman for a restaurant -- with no attorney -- and included entire notebooks containing handwritten statements in nearly indecipherable block printing that often spilled over and encircled the pages.
Both received compensation, McCarthy said. But the first -- who recently died of brain cancer -- was a fairly straightforward case and it took eight months to determine his compensation. The second -- who for a time called the VCF help line every day, even on the weekends -- was not so straightforward. That claim took 2½ years to resolve.
"I am really proud of the work we did with him," McCarthy said of the second claimant, who still calls the VCF.
McCarthy -- a former White House staffer who herself was a block from Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001 -- was hired in April to help expedite claims for ailing responders under the $2.775 billion James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. The VCF had come under heavy criticism for the...
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