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Construction Workers at Ground Zero Should Know

Construction Workers at Ground Zero Should Know

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9/11 is a shared horror that Americans have. It is a trauma that we’ll never forget. Those who were alive when it happened will always remember their location when the Towers fell.
Some have firsthand knowledge of what happened because they leaped into action to try to save those trapped beneath the rubble. These first responders include police officers, paramedics, and firefighters.
Besides these individuals, there were many more who came in the hours and days that followed. Doctors came, as did construction workers. Anyone who thought they could help tried to lend their brawn and expertise.
Now, many of these individuals are sick, while others have died. This comes from inhaling the toxic cloud that rose when the Towers collapsed. That dust cloud contained asbestos and many other contaminants that humans shouldn’t pull into their lungs.
Today, we’re going to talk about the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund that exists to help first responders and anyone who worked and lived in that area following the terrorist attack. We’ll also talk about one particular group: construction workers.

The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund

The government created the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to help those who were there at the time, and who are now sick. Many of those who lived and worked there have contracted cancer and other serious ailments. The fund is for:

  • Firefighters
  • Medical personnel
  • Police officers
  • Downtown residents

Even those who did not live right next to the Towers might feel the effects years later. That’s because the wind picked up the dust and swirled it around. It was a threat for weeks afterward since the cleanup effort took a long time, and so many people involved themselves.
One great thing about the Victim Compensation Fund is that there is no time limit on when you can file a claim. It’s almost twenty years later, and you can do it now.
If you get sick in another five years, or ten, you can file a claim then as well. Of course, proving you were present at the exposure zone is not always the easiest thing in the world.

Construction Workers Who Helped Clean Up the Rubble

Construction can already be a dangerous profession. It’s easy to injure yourself when walking on a high scaffolding or using heavy equipment. You definitely have to keep your wits about you. It is not for the fainthearted.
As a construction worker, you have to watch out for things like:

  • Falling objects
  • Falling from heights while working on buildings
  • Malfunctioning machinery

However, cleaning up after 9/11 was something larger and more complex than many construction crews had ever attempted before. The rubble mound was huge, and they needed to act quickly, since there still could be people trapped underneath, fighting for air.
The crews who worked to clear that debris in record time are every bit as heroic as the firefighters, cops, medical staff, etc. who plunged in so selflessly. Unfortunately, these construction workers are now feeling the impact, just as all these others are.
That’s why it makes sense that they should get Victim Compensation Fund access. They need it since some of them now have various cancers, asthma, and other serious and life-threatening conditions.

Proving They Were There

There’s a potential issue when some individuals try to prove their involvement in the 9/11 cleanup and rescue efforts. This was a chaotic time, with much confusion and scrambling. All these disparate elements tried to join forces, and that often meant strangers working alongside one another.
Aside from the New York City cops, firefighters, medics, etc. who came to help, there were also others from outside the city and state. They often came of their own volition, feeling compelled to assist, and knowing they had valuable skills. They didn’t do it for pay, but rather, because they felt heroism’s call.
Some of them now can’t easily prove that they took part in the cleanup and rescue. They might not have the documentation, especially if no superior ordered them to be there. They sometimes have to rely on eyewitness testimony or hospital records.

It’s Easier for Construction Workers

However, this challenge does not exist quite as much for construction workers. Not as many of them showed up from out of the city or state. Generally, if a construction worker came to help, it was something that their company and boss approved.
Because of this, work orders often exist that show which construction workers were there and when. They can rely on these work logs and pay stubs to demonstrate that they helped with the cleanup and rescue.
They need this documentation if they now have cancer or other ailments, and they want to apply to the 9/11 Victim Relief Fund. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t take advantage of that fund to pay for medical bills that might be piling up. These workers helped the wounded as much as any police officer, firefighter, or medic.
It’s still sometimes not the easiest thing in the world to prove you were there as a construction worker. You can hire an attorney to help you, though, as some law offices work almost exclusively with such individuals.
You’d think that no one who wasn’t there would try to apply for this funding, but there will always be dishonest individuals who want to misappropriate that money. Those in charge of the fund must be careful that no one who isn’t deserving gets any of it.
If you were a construction worker who was at Ground Zero in the days and weeks after the attack, you are a hero, and America and New York City owe you a debt. We can cover your medical bills as you fight through the toxic cloud exposure years later.
You might have some incredible stories about what happened, and you can pass those along to your children and grandchildren. Hopefully, with medical funding in place, you can be there alongside them for many years to come.
 
 
 
 
 

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