Although a lot of time has passed, we still need to find ways to help 9/11 survivors to rebuild their lives. Here are 4 ways which can help.
September 11, 2001, was a usual Tuesday morning. Shortly after the first work hour, something unimaginable happened. Two hijacked planes simultaneously hit the twin towers and caused both to collapse.
People in the vicinity—residents, students, office workers, business owners, and their customers rushed to flee the scene, being covered in dust and ash. Estimated to be several thousand, these individuals within Ground Zero’s vicinity are known as 9/11 survivors.
While they live to tell their stories, not everyone enjoys a healthy state. Exposure to toxic fumes that raged for months has caused debilitating illnesses in both their minds and bodies.
The majority of these survivors don’t know they qualify for government-sponsored programs. Some may even think non-profit institutions only cater to first responders and their families. As 9/11 reaches its 20th anniversary, it’s essential that survivors know and receive various types of assistance to help them overcome challenges as a result of this tragic event.
There are several programs available to help 9/11 survivors and their families. These come from private and public initiatives aimed to help them rebuild their lives after the terrorist attacks. Here are some of them…
Survivors are eligible to file for claims under the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Those exposed to the toxic fumes because of the terrorist attacks and the clearing operations are now suffering from lung disease, various forms of cancers, respiratory diseases, and other medical conditions. They can avail of monetary compensation for lost earnings and pain and suffering.
The claim is based on the survivor’s circumstances, and it’s coursed through a 9/11 victim compensation fund lawyer. Survivors need to file on or before July 29, 2021, to qualify for compensation.
Apart from monetary aid, survivors can also enroll in the World Trade Center Survivor Health Program. The program provides initial screening and treatment for students, workers, building occupants, and residents in the disaster area. Survivors with 9/11 health-related conditions are then provided with lifetime healthcare coverage with no out-of-pocket costs.
Unfortunately, only a handful of the estimated 450,000 survivors know about their eligibility. The majority of them think the program is only for first responders and their families. It’s crucial to inform survivors about this and help them realize that respiratory illnesses and other medical conditions manifesting years after the incident may be the result of their presence during and after 9/11. All they need to do is to register for the program and receive a certification for their illness.
Aside from continuous support for WTC-related illnesses, survivors can also avail themselves of mental health services. The World Trade Center Health Program includes anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and several disorders as covered conditions.
These mental health problems can come as a result of traumatic events while some can be tied to the illness caused by the terrorist attack. In any case, those suffering from mental health issues can obtain certification and avail of appropriate services in accredited treatment centers in New York and across the country.
Non-profit organizations also encourage them to join emotional support groups. These programs provide various resources to help them deal with life’s challenges in a positive manner. They also offer referral services to connect survivors with mental health professionals.
Survivors not only suffer from illness and loss of income, but their families are directly affected as well. Their inability to work can cause children to defer schooling to care for them and assist them in their daily needs.
Various organizations realize the effects of the tragedy go beyond the persons present during 9/11. They know that compensation can only cover medical expenses and leave little for the family’s needs. As such, they establish foundations to extend financial assistance to cover educational costs. Children, spouses, and other qualified dependents can avail themselves of college scholarships in designated universities and help them reach their goals despite the tragedy.
9/11 survivors are eligible for several federal and non-profit programs that can help them recover from the September 11 terrorist attacks. They must avail of these to offset the health and economic losses they experience. Aside from ongoing healthcare services for medical and mental health conditions, survivors and their families also have claims under the Victim Compensation Fund and available college scholarships.
These programs aren’t only advantageous for their current needs, but they also ensure they receive adequate support as they continue to rebuild their lives after the tragedy.
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