Proving Your World Trade Center Exposure
Most applications for World Trade Center benefits require some proof of your exposure. Each agency has sightly different rules and policies regarding acceptable forms of proof.
For New York City Police Officers, the pension fund requires either that you responded to the World Trade Center site within the first 48 hours of the attacks, or that your participated in rescue and recovery operations (including perimeter security) for at least 40 hours between September 11, 2001, and September 11, 2002. The Pension Fund generally credits contemporaneous documents (i.e., memobooks, roll calls, command logs, overtime slips) over more recently created documents (witness statements).
The World Trade Center Health Program requires that applicants establish either 4 hours of exposure in the first 4 days, 24 hours in the month of September 2001, or 80 hours of exposure between September 11, 2001, and July 31, 2002. The exposure zone includes the area of Manhattan south of Houston Street and any block in Brooklyn that is wholly or partially contained within a 1.5-mile radius of the former World Trade Center site. The Health Program will classify you as a General Responder if you participated in rescue, recovery, clean-up or related support services. The Health Program will accept your own sworn statement as proof of your exposure.
The Victim Compensation Fund requires the same number of hours as the WTC Health Program, but the exposure period ended May 30, 2002. Further, the exposure zone is limited to the area in Manhattan south of the line that runs along Canal Street from the Hudson River to the intersection of Canal Street and East Broadway, north on East Broadway to Clinton Street, and east on Clinton Street to the East River; and any area related to or along the routes of debris removal, such as barges and Fresh Kills landfill. The VCF will requires two witness statements, notarized and sworn under penalty of perjury, attesting to the nature and duration of your exposure. The witnesses will not have to appear to testify, but may receive a phone call verifying the information on their statement.
If you have any questions regarding how to prove your exposure, please feel free to contact us.