First responders face benefit cuts from 9/11 compensation fund

Posted: Updated:

Many of the first responders who sacrificed their health in the aftermath of 9/11 are facing benefit cuts from the Victim’s Compensation Fund.

Jimmy Nolan, of Yonkers, was there when the second plane hit the World Trade Center on 9/11.

He was a carpenter and was renovating an NYU dorm at the time. Nolan says he was part of the recovery and rebuilding efforts for 2 ½ years.

Nolan says he is now dealing with a lot of health issues.

"I get sinusitis, I get migraines, asthma, I get rashes on my hands,” he says.

But now there’s a major blow for Nolan and others who got sick after working at Ground Zero with word that the Victim’s Compensation Fund is running out of money. According to the fund administrator, cuts will be drastic: a 50 percent drop for people who already filed claims. Those who file after Feb. 1 will get cut even more - at 70 percent.

Since the 9/11 Victim's Compensation Fund started, more than 21,000 people received about $5 billion.

White Plains attorney David Worby was the lawyer who started the initial lawsuit against the government on behalf of 10,000 sick workers.

"If we have emergency powers to spend $5 billion for a wall to keep out immigrants, I think we come up with the funds to help our workers and our fireman and our cops and our people who got sick trying to help our country,” he says.

Some members of Congress are reacting in outrage to the announcement.

In a tweet, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says she's introducing a bipartisan bill to make the Victim’s Compensation Fund permanent.

The 9/11 Victim's Compensation Fund is slated to stop accepting claims by Dec. 18, 2020.

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