The deadline for filing a New York State Workers' Compensation claim concerning World Trade Center rescue, recovery and cleanup-related injury or illness depends on a number of complicated factors. One can be sure to not miss the deadline by filing a claim within two years of the first day spent working or volunteering in the vicinity of Ground Zero. Workers and volunteers who worked at Ground Zero on the first day should file their Workers' Compensation claim by September 11, 2003.

The filing deadline for the federal program, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, is December 22, 2003. For additional information about the Victim Compensation Fund visit or call (888) 714-3385.

Many medical conditions may result from World Trade Center exposures, including respiratory, nasal and sinus, gastrointestinal and psychological conditions. Many people who worked on the rescue, recovery and clean-up are experiencing medical problems but are unaware of the connection between their symptoms and their work around the World Trade Center, according to the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health. Medical conditions that may be eligible for free medical care and compensation include:

  • sore throat
  • hoarse voice
  • chest tightness
  • shortness of breath
  • persistent cough
  • wheezing
  • increased shortness of breath or chest tightness with exposure to any of the following: exercise or physical activity, cold air, cigarette smoke or other types of smoke, vehicle exhaust, household cleaners or perfumes
  • (These symptoms may be associated with bronchitis, asthma or reactive airways disease.)

Other symptoms that may result in compensation are:

  • nasal or sinus congestion
  • runny nose
  • facial pain
  • headache
  • nasal discharge
  • persistent throat clearing or cough
  • postnasal drip
  • (These symptoms may be associated with rhinitis or sinusitis.)

Other symptoms are:

  • inability to tolerate certain foods
  • chronic indigestion
  • persistent throat clearing or cough
  • burning sensation in the chest
  • (These symptoms may be associated with gastrointestinal reflux disease.)

Psychological symptoms include:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • easily startled
  • irritability and agitation
  • excessive exhaustion
  • feeling detached from family or friends
  • lack of interest in usual activities
  • difficulty concentrating
  • nightmares
  • flashbacks
  • difficulty sleeping
  • increased use of alcohol, drugs, and/or tobacco.