Special Master Sheila L. Birnbaum has announced the publication of proposed rules to govern The Zadroga Act Health Claim Fund and the payment of $2.775 Billion of benefits over the next 6 years. The Special Master pledged a process: that is fair, transparent and easy to navigate; procedures that will not dilute the fund; and a full investigation of the response, clean-up and debris removal activities necessitated by the attacks and those injured.
"The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 reopens the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 to provide compensation to those who were physically injured or who died in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, including those who were injured during the clean-up and debris removal operations at a 9/11 crash site." This extension recognizes the considerable efforts of and effects on those engaged in or in the immediate vicinity of the response, recovery, and clean-up operations. The intent of the extension of the Fund is to provide fair and consistent compensation for those who are eligible and to do so in an efficient and timely manner.
"The regulations reiterate the expanded definition of the "9/11 Crash Site" to include both the crash site and contiguous areas of impact of the aircraft or subsequent fire, explosions, or building collapses. The Special Master will consider scientific evidence regarding the risks of physical harm resulting from the crashes. The routes of debris removal will be considered.
The Special master will "...maintain and publish a list of presumptively covered conditions that resulted from the air crashes or debris removal, and that this list shall consist of the physical injuries and conditions that are found, under the WTC Health Program, to be WTC-related health conditions."