Cuomo Announces WTC Worker Protections

Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week announced World Trade Center workers who performed rescue, recovery and clean-up operations in the year after 9/11 now have significant new protections for workers’ compensation benefits. The World Trade Center Registry was reopened and the deadline for joining extended to Sept. 11, 2014; certain previously time-barred World Trade Center claims are being reopened and considered timely; and qualifying health conditions were added to the law.

Filing a WTC-12 form with the Workers’ Compensation Board preserves the workers’ compensation rights for those who performed rescue, recovery and clean-up after the World Trade Center attacks. The State again urges those who worked at Ground Zero, the Fresh Kills Landfill, on the barges, the piers and the morgues to file a WTC-12 form, no matter if they were injured or not and whether they were employed or volunteered.

The Board will also review its files to locate any World Trade Center claims previously disallowed as “untimely” under Workers’ Compensation Law Secs. 18 and/or 28 or from failure to file a timely WTC-12 form. The Board will, under its own initiative, now reconsider those particular World Trade Center claims “timely.”

“New York State is committed to caring for those who stood up in the face of danger to assist in the rescue and recovery efforts during and after the horrific attacks at the World Trade Center,” Cuomo said. “That is why we are providing new protections for the workers, including first responders, clean-up crews and volunteers, who answered the call for help and ensuring they have access to workers’ compensation benefits for the future.”