Families and victims can continue to apply for the Zadroga Act’s Victim Compensation Fund. A bill was recently signed into law by President Donald Trump to fully finance and reauthorize the federal compensation fund supporting victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks through 2092.
Families of victims who died from a 9/11-related illness are also able to submit a claim with the VCF. Family members would have to fill out the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 Compensation Form for Deceased Victims, including an original certified copy of the death certificate.
Compensation depends on economic, and non-economic losses, the number of victim dependents, and claims for future lost earnings or benefits like pension programs, retirement contribution programs and health benefits. You can go to vcf.gov for more information and to file a claim.
The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program offers high-quality care to those directly affected by the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York, the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pa. Eligibility for the program is based on what victims did following 9/11, where they were and how long they were there. There are four categories of members: FDNY responder, General responder, NYC survivor, and Pentagon/Shanksville, PA responders.
The program provides medical and mental health services at no cost, through the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. This means victims can access services without having to pay any co-payments, deductibles, or other out-of-pocket expenses for treatment of certified 9/11-related health conditions.
It is important to note that this is not an insurance program, and is only intended to provide monitoring and treatment services for certified 9/11-related health conditions. You can go to https://www.cdc.gov/wtc for a full list of certified conditions and to apply for the program.
Workers and volunteers who performed rescue, recovery and clean-up of the World Trade Center and other impacted sites can register with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. The registration preserves the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits through the state if you need them in the future. You can go here to find information on eligibility.
It guarantees a college education to all families of those killed or seriously and permanently disabled in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, or subsequent rescue and recovery operations, at all SUNY and CUNY schools, or an equivalent amount of aid for students attending a private college in New York State.
Recipients are entitled to payment for up to four years of full-time undergraduate study, or five years if enrolled in a bachelor degree program approved as a program normally requiring five years of study. You can go here to submit an application.
In the aftermath of 9/11, many non-profit organizations were created to help victims and families in their time of need. Eighteen years later, some non-profits are continuing to offer services, expanding their outreach to other victims suffering trauma.
Non-profits founded after 9/11 continue to serve community
Organizations that were founded on Staten Island in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks continue to offer service.
Here are non-profits that offer services or remembrance programs for 9/11 victims and families.
9/11 Memorial and Museum
The National September 11 Memorial is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the 2,977 people killed in the terrorist attacks on September 11. The twin reflecting pools – which sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood — are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in North America.
The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels edging the Memorial pools.
The Memorial offers family members of 9/11 victims free visits to the museum. Family members can call 212-266-5201 to reserve museum tickets on the dedicated phone line. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum also offers a family room that provides a private place of comfort for family members, located on the atrium terrace level of the Museum pavilion.
According to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, two non-profits — Voices of September 11th and Tuesday’s Children — have expanded their scope to meet the evolving needs of 9/11 responders and survivors, and their families.
Voices of September 11th
Voices of September 11th helps families heal after a tragedy, a mission that began after 9/11. The organization continues to address the long-term needs of those impacted by 9/11, while also helping communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from other acts of mass violence and disasters.
Mary Fetchet, founding director of Voices of September 11th, gives referrals to families looking for resources that are available in their community. She said the organization provides consultations, as staff members have worked with families for the last 18 years, working with responders and survivors and helping them enroll in the WTC Health Program and Victims Compensation Fund.
On Sept. 10, the non-profit is holdings its 18th annual Information Forum – a day-long program with presentations, panel discussions and peer-to-peer opportunities designed to promote healing and resiliency. The event provides an opportunity for 9/11 families, survivors and responders to gather for an informative program.
Representatives from the WTC Health Program will also provide updates on treatment for medical and mental health conditions. Legal experts and victims’ advocates will discuss victim compensation programs. You can go here to register.
The non-profit Tuesday’s Children was started in the aftermath of 9/11 and provides a “lifetime of healing for those whose lives have been forever changed by terrorism or traumatic loss.” It has since expanded, serving and supporting military families, communities suffering from tragedies, and continuing to support for those impacted by 9/11.
It works in collaboration with renowned facilitators and mental health professionals to provide services to youth, adults and families, such as mentoring, leadership, career and counseling programs.
Feal Good Foundation
The non-profit organization, Feal Good Foundation, assists 9/11 first responders and their families. Founder John Feal and his team created a network of advocacy groups addressing health issues relating to 9/11, and promotes awareness of long-term health risks endured by first responders.
The foundation provides financial assistance for health-related expenses. It also puts victims in contact with health care professionals who will advocate on their behalf.
Friends of Firefighters Inc.
The New York City non-profit organization, Friends of Firefighters Inc., began as a community-based group in response to the attacks on Sept. 11. It provides free and confidential mental health and wellness services to active and retired FDNY firefighters and their families.
You can go here to inquire about services and programs available.
Here’s a look at the scholarships that are available to dependents of 9/11 victims.
Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund
This scholarship was created in the weeks that followed 9/11 to provide post-secondary education assistance to an entire generation of financially needy dependents of those killed or permanently disabled in the 9/11 attacks and the aftermath. It will continue to provide assistance until 2030. It is managed by Scholarship America, which is the nation’s premier nonprofit, private sector scholarship and educational support organization.
You can go to www.familiesoffreedom.org/ to find out if you’re eligible and apply for the scholarship.
September 11 Memorial Scholarship Fund
This fund is offered by the CFA Institute and CFA Institute Research Foundation to assist children, spouses or domestic partners of those who died or were permanently disabled, or victims permanently disabled, as a direct result of the attacks who plan to pursue education in college or vocational school programs in finance, economics, accounting or business ethics at an accredited institution of the student’s choice.
Scholarships are awarded annually, which give eligible participants up to $25,000 per calendar year. Recipients can reapply for additional grants for subsequent years as needed. The scholarship covers the costs of tuition, room and board, and other related expenses. The scholarship is also administered by Scholarship America.
You can go here to apply for the scholarship: https://sms.scholarshipamerica.org/cfainstitute/
Twin Towers Orphan Fund
The fund was founded on Sept. 11, 2001, for the sole purpose of providing educational and welfare assistance to the children who were orphaned (who lost one or both parents), by the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The mission is to provide higher educational assistance for children who lost parents in the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, or onboard the four downed airlines.
You can apply on the fund’s website, www.ttof.org/.
Needham September 11th Scholarship Fund
Needham & Company established the scholarship fund after the attacks on 9/11 to benefit the children and dependents of the victims who lost their lives. The purpose of the fund is to ensure that the victims’ children are provided with an opportunity for a private secondary and/or college-level education.
Awarding of funds is based on a combination of the applicant’s financial need, scholastic abilities and community/civic involvement. You can go here for the application form: https://form.jotform.com/60055144572147
American Legion Legacy Scholarship
The scholarship provides college scholarship money to children of post-9/11 veterans who died on active duty, or have a combined Veterans Affairs (VA) disability rating of 50% or greater. The scholarship is for undergraduate study at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States.
You can go to www.legion.org/legacy-scholarship-application/eligibility to learn if you’re eligible and apply.
City of Berlin Scholarship
In response to the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation (CCF), Berlin, Germany, began a charitable campaign called “Berlin helps the USA” for children directly affected by the terrorist attacks. Since 9/11, private donors in Berlin have contributed money to this scholarship.
Until 2028, this scholarship, in combination with already existing support programs (like FAFSA, Federal Pell Grants, etc.) will cover the cost of tuition for one academic year or two consecutive semesters at private and/or public higher education institutions or trade schools. Students have the option of renewal for the following academic year.
Recipients must be the children of parents who were deployed at the World Trade Center site as employees of the New York Fire Department on 9/11, or during the subsequent cleanup, and are now suffering from long-term health problems that forced them to retire from active duty. This includes children of parents who died from such health problems in the years after 9/11.
You can go here for more information and the application: www.cc-stiftung.de/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/City-of-Berlin-Scholarship-Information-Sheet-2017.pdf
Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship
This scholarship provides post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to the children and surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty on or after 9/11. Eligible beneficiaries attending school may receive up to 36 months of benefits at the 100% level.
You can go here for more information and the application: www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/fry_scholarship.asp
Manfred Pakas Scholarship Fund
This fund is for the education of children of a New York City uniform personnel member who died in the line of duty. It is not restricted to children of 9/11 victims, and isn’t restricted to New York City residents or New York City colleges and universities. Recipients must renew their scholarship every academic year.
You can go here for more information and the application: www.nycpolicefoundation.org/programs/scholarships-professional-development/apply/
Uniformed Firefighters Association Scholarship Fund
The scholarship is available for children of active, retired or deceased firefighters, fire marshals and marine wipers, including children of members who died in the 9/11 attacks. It is not available for post-9/11 families.
You can go to www.ufanyc.org/funds/scholar.php for more information.
International Association of Fire Fighters
This scholarship is for dependents of firefighters who died in the line of duty and were members in good standing with the International Association of Fire Fighters at time of death. It is available for victims of 9/11 and post-9/11 families.
You can go here for an application: client.prod.iaff.org/#contentid=1743
National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Sarbanes Scholarship
This scholarship is for the spouses, life partners, child or stepchild of fallen firefighters who died in the line of duty, including victims of post-9/11. Names of the fallen firefighters must have been added to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Wall of Honor in Maryland. You can go to www.firehero.org for more information and the application.
National Law Enforcement and Firefighters Children’s Foundation Scholarship
This scholarship is for the children or law enforcement officers and firefighters who died or became permanently disabled in the line of duty. It includes those who died on 9/11 and post-9/11-related illness.
You can go to firstresponderkids.org/ for more information and the application.
Federal Law Enforcement Foundation
This scholarship is available for children of full-time active employees of Federal Law Enforcement Agencies presently in service and eligible children of agents killed or disabled in the line of duty. Children of law enforcement officers and agents killed or disabled in the line of duty as a result of the 9/11 attacks (FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority Police) are also eligible.
You can go to federallawenforcementfoundation.com/ for the application.
Michael Lynch Memorial Scholarship
The Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation provides scholarships to high school seniors and college students who are dependents of New York City firefighters or victims of the September 11 attacks. You can email [email protected] for more information and an application.
STATEN ISLAND NON-PROFITS
In the aftermath of 9/11, several organizations were founded on Staten Island that continue to offer guidance and service to the community. Those organizations include the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Where To Turn and the Carl V. Bini Memorial Fund.
Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was founded to honor Staten Island firefighter Stephen Siller.
Siller ran on foot with 60 pounds of gear strapped to his back through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel shortly after the first hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center on September 11. The group now provides financial support to the families of fallen and injured firefighters, police officers, military members and emergency service works across the country.
Where To Turn
Following the attacks on September 11, the Where To Turn non-profit organization was created from a committee of parishioners from St. Clare’s R.C. Church in Great Kills. The charity provides crisis relief services for victims of any kind of tragedy, and works to aid victims in obtaining the help they need during the recovery process. Where To Turn provides a bus each year on Sept. 11 to take Staten Island family members to the Freedom Tower for the anniversary.
Carl V. Bini Memorial Fund
Carl V. Bini was an 18-year veteran and New York City firefighter who was assigned to Rescue 5 on Staten Island. He perished in the attacks on September 11, and the Carl V. Bini Memorial Fund was created in his memory. The Bini Fund supports the community through scholarships, emergency grants and special needs assistance. The fund adapts to the changing needs of communities, especially in times of crisis.
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