Workers and volunteers who were in the vicinity of Ground Zero in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack must register by Sept. 11 for future workers' compensation benefits in case they develop an illness related to that work.
"Only by registering now will they be eligible for compensation and medical treatment if they become ill down the road from their exposures at the World Trade Center," said Joel Shufro, executive director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health.
Up to 100,000 workers and volunteers who performed 9/11 rescue, recovery or cleanup work are eligible to sign up with the state Workers' Compensation Board. As of early July, 40,633 had done so. According to NYCOSH, more than 20,000 of them have developed serious health problems from exposure to toxic dust or fumes at the site or mental disorders caused by psychological trauma associated with their work. The most common illnesses linked to World Trade Center exposures include diseases of the upper respiratory system.
Workers' compensation registration forms and FAQs can be found at the NYCOSH web site.