In a long-awaited move, the administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) posted a proposal to the Federal Register on July 2 that would include prostate cancer as a covered illness. If you were present at the disaster area or exposed to toxins or debris from the site, this is important news.
Despite research finding increased incidence of prostate cancer among responders and workers at the WTC site, prostate cancer was not previously named as a covered illness under the WTC Health Program.
In response to a May petition presented by a union representing police officers in New York City, Dr. John D. Howard, the WTCHP administrator, found sufficient cause to suggest a rule change to include medical coverage for prostate cancer. The process for changing the rule includes:
- Inclusion of the proposed rule change on the Federal Register
- Public comments on the rule change to be accepted until August 1 of this year
- The administrator of the WTCHP reviews comments and issues a final rule
- If approved, medical benefits for prostate cancer for qualified WTCHP recipients could be initiated shortly after issuance of the final rule
The inclusion of prostate cancer under the WTCHP has important implications for acceptance of prostate cancer as a recoverable condition under the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). If you suffer a known WTC-related illness, the deadline to register and file your claim is October 3 of this year.
Our firm is dedicated to assisting our clients who were injured, or saw loved ones die, as a result of 9/11. If you have questions, contact our firm for skilled advice.