Senator Elaine Phillips announced that a measure to preserve benefits for heroes who sacrificed their health and well-being during the September 11 terrorist attack response was signed into law. The legislation, which Senator Phillips supported, extends the ability for participants injured in World Trade Center rescue, recovery, or clean-up operations to claim workers’ compensation benefits.
“The first responders of 9/11 deserve any assistance they need in obtaining the benefits which they deserve and are entitled to receive,” said Senator Phillips. “This legislation extends the claim period, allows denied applications to be reconsidered by the Workers Compensation Board and extends the period for those still needing to file a notice of participation.”
Initially, individuals who participated in the World Trade Center rescue, recovery, or clean-up operations had until September 11, 2010, to file the required Notice of Participation and become eligible for workers’ compensation. This is the third extension of the deadline to enable fair treatment of those who are still getting diagnosed and coping with WTC-related illnesses. The new law also gives individuals who applied and were denied benefits between September 11, 2015 and September 11, 2017, the opportunity to have their claims reconsidered.
In addition to several bills which were passed to enhance benefits and acknowledge the contributions made by 9/11 rescue and recovery workers, police officers, firefighters, and other first responders, legislation was signed into law to create a new special license plate commemorating the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The surcharge collected for the plate will be deposited into the World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship, which provides access to a college education for children, spouses, and financial dependents of innocent victims who died or were severely and permanently disabled as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.\