September 11th Workers’ Task Force Recommends Legislative Changes
June 4, 2009
The September 11th Worker Protection Task Force recently issued its 2009 annual report , recommending the following legislative changes:
- Tiers I and II of the NYC Teachers' Retirement System
and the Board of Education Retirement System should be included in the World
Trade Center Disability Law.
- The definition of "qualifying condition" under
Workers' Compensation Law should be changed from the term "œlatent
condition" to a non-exhaustive list of qualifying conditions based on a
similar list from the NYS Retirement and Social Security Law.
- The Workers' Compensation Board should contact
certain 9/11 claimants whose cases have been closed, advise them of their
right to file medical evidence and reopen their claims, and suggest that they
may wish to consult an attorney and/or attend publicly-funded 9/11 medical
- New York City and other self-insured employers and
carriers should review their internal practices and avoid inappropriate delays
of claims and appeals.
- The Workers' Compensation Committee of the Task Force should remain in place to monitor continuing developments in rescue, recovery and cleanup claims (following a yearlong review of the New York State workers' compensation system, this committee produced its own list of recommended changes which are included as Exhibit B in the report).
Last year, all six recommendations made by the Task Force became law. There are 19 members of the Task Force, including New York City and New York State elected officials, union leaders and physicians specializing in occupational medicine. The Task Force was created in 2005 to ensure that New York City and New York State employees injured in the WTC rescue and recovery effort are eligible for accidental disability benefits.