Resources for September 11th First Responders

After the terrorist attacks on September 11th, funds were set up to compensate and provide healthcare for those affected, including victims, first responders and residents. This page provides a brief overview of the World Trade Center Health Program, which provides healthcare and screenings and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which compensates individuals or the families of those who suffered physical harm or were killed by the terrorist attacks or the recovery efforts.

What is the World Trade Center Health Program?

The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program provides medical monitoring and treatment for responders at the WTC and related sites in New York City, Pentagon, and Shanksville, PA, and survivors who were in the New York City disaster area.

Who is eligible?

FDNY Responders, General Responders, NYC Survivors and Pentagon/Shanksville Responders

Am I a general responder?

A general responder includes “An individual, including current and former Federal employees, who worked or volunteered onsite in rescue, recovery, demolition, debris cleanup or related support services in lower Manhattan (south of Canal St), the Staten Island Landfill, or the barge loading piers,” as well as police officers, medical examiner employees, Port Authority workers, and vehicle maintenance workers who were exposed to airborne toxins.

A detailed description can be found here.

What health conditions are covered?

The WTC Health Program covers physical and mental conditions that were caused by exposure to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. These include traumatic injuries, aerodigestive disorders, many types of cancer, digestive system illnesses, mental health conditions and musculoskeletal disorders. A doctor will determine whether your condition is related to 9/11.

A full list of covered conditions can be found here.

How do I apply?

In order to apply, you need documentation of your presence at Ground Zero or another site that includes what you were doing, your location at the site(s) and the time period you were there.

Examples include letters from employers or unions; awards or letters given by the government (including the military) about your activities; letters from the Workers’ Compensation Board around World Trade Center activities; timesheets that show the days, times and locations that you worked.

Applications and more information about what you need can be found here.

I don't have any documentation, can I still apply?

Yes. If you cannot obtain any documentation, you can include a letter in your application that explains how you tried to find documentation and why you were unable to include it.

How do I submit the application?

You can submit the application online or by downloading the form and sending it in.
Both forms and instructions can be found online here.

Where can I find more information?

The CDC World Trade Center Health Program page can be found here.

FAQ’s about the health program are here.

Contact information for the program is here. You can call (888) 982-4748 for their help line or email them at

Victim Compensation Fund

What is the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund?

The VCF was created to provide compensation for individuals (or the families) of those who suffered physical harm or were killed by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as well as those who were harmed or killed due to the recovery efforts.

Is the Victim Compensation Fund the same thing as the World Trade Center Health Program?

No. The Victim Compensation Fund and the World Trade Center Health Program are separate, and funded differently.

Who is eligible?

First responders, as well as those who volunteered, lived, worked, went to school or spent time in the affected areas between September 11th, 2001 and May 30th, 2002.

How do I apply?

You first need to create an account and be assigned a claim number. You can do this online at by creating an account or by calling (855) 885-1555. For step-by-step directions click here.

You need certification from the WTC Health Program to confirm that you have an eligible injury or condition caused by the 9/11 attacks or recovery efforts to proceed forward with your claim. More on how to file a claim here.

Should I still register if I’m not sick or haven’t gotten a diagnosis yet?

Yes. By registering you are preserving your right to file a claim in the future.

Where can I find more information?

The official September 11th Victim Compensation Fund website can be found here.

Forms and other resources can be found here.

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