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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
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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