Legislation Expands 9/11 Benefits
August 8, 2008
Governor Paterson signed legislation that expands disability retirement benefits to city and state employees injured in the WTC rescue, recovery and clean-up efforts. Based on recommendations from the September 11 Worker Protection Task Force, disability benefits are now available to more first responders than were originally covered. According to Paterson aides, an additional 1,800 public workers may now be eligible for benefits under the new legislation.
Additional responders covered under the Governor’s legislation include:
- Non-uniformed city and state employees who took part
in the rescue and recovery operation are not required to have undergone a
pre-employment physical. These workers can now receive a disability pension by
providing medical records that show no pre-existing condition before 9/11.
- First responders who worked during the first 48 hours
after the 9/11 attacks. The previous law required that claimants work in the
rescue and recovery operations at least 40 hours. However, medical evidence
gathered by the Task Force showed that those at the site during the first 48
hours were at substantial risk of developing physical and mental health
- Vested members of a public pension system who stopped
working before filing a claim.
- Workers who became disabled more than two years after
the WTC disaster but before the Workers' Compensation Law was extended.
- 9/11 dispatchers.
- Emergency vehicle radio repair mechanics.
- State and county correction officers and deputy sheriffs.
In addition, the new legislation extends the registration deadlines for disability and Workers' Compensation benefits to September 11, 2010.