9/11 fund payouts begin - New York News

9/11 fund payouts begin

Posted: Updated:
(AP File) (AP File)
  • Sept. 11More>>

  • Memorial remains free

    Sept. 11 Museum president defends $24 admission fee

    Sept. 11 Museum president defends $24 admission fee

    The president of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is defending the decision to charge a $24 adult admission fee when the museum finally opens in May 2014 after some 9/11 families criticized the price tag.
    The president of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is defending the decision to charge a $24 adult admission fee when the museum finally opens in May 2014 after some 9/11 families criticized the price tag. Joe Daniels pointed out that the 9/11 Memorial complex receives no federal, state, or local funding to defray its projected $63 million annual operating cost and that the memorial plaza, which is already open, will continue to remain free.
  • NYPD remembers 23 killed on 9/11

    NYPD remembers 23 killed on 9/11

    Wednesday, September 11 2013 11:24 AM EDT2013-09-11 15:24:00 GMT
    The New York Police Department is remembering 23 members killed in the line of duty on Sept. 11, 2001.
    The New York Police Department is remembering 23 members killed in the line of duty on Sept. 11, 2001.
  • Cuomo, Billy Joel lead 9/11 motorcycle ride to WTC

    Cuomo, Billy Joel lead 9/11 motorcycle ride to WTC

    Wednesday, September 11 2013 11:10 AM EDT2013-09-11 15:10:02 GMT
    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and singer Billy Joel paid tribute to victims of 9/11 with a commemorative ride to ground zero with members of the FDNY motorcycle club.
    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and singer Billy Joel paid tribute to victims of 9/11 with a commemorative ride to ground zero with members of the FDNY motorcycle club.

NEW YORK (AP) -- A special fund set up by Congress to compensate people who got sick after being exposed to toxic World Trade Center dust following Sept. 11 is making its first round of payments, with the initial payouts going to a group of 15 first responders with respiratory problems.

The administrator who oversees the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, Sheila Birnbaum, announced Tuesday that the fund was finally poised to process payouts, after a deliberate start in which officials figured out how the program would work and lawyers pieced together documentation for at least 16,000 applications.

The first round of payments, most of which have been offered to firefighters, range from $10,000 to a high of $1.5 million.

Birnbaum declined to identify the recipients by name or say much about their illnesses, citing privacy concerns. She said their health problems range from "serious" to "not so serious," and that the people getting the larger awards tended to be younger, and to have suffered more severe economic losses.

The people offered lower amounts include some who have already received other compensation for their illnesses, including shares of a civil settlement for thousands of firefighters, police officers and construction workers who had sued over the lack of protective equipment at ground zero.

None of the people in the initial group had cancer, and all are still living, Birnbaum said.

"We think we are off to a good start, and with the help of the lawyers and the claimants, we will be able to come up with a lot more awards in the coming months," she said.

It will be years, though, before any applicants see the bulk of their money, or even know for certain how much they will get.

Officials don't yet know how many people will apply for aid from the $2.78 billion fund, or how ill they will be. That means they can't yet calculate each person's share. So for now, applicants are getting only 10 percent of their award. The remainder won't be paid until after the fund closes to new applicants in 2016.

Some advocates for the sick have worried that the $2.78 billion appropriated by Congress will be far less than the actual losses suffered by the sick -- a possibility that Birnbaum acknowledged in drafting the formula she is using to decide how much money claimants will get in the first round.

Planning for a worst-case scenario, fund officials estimated that as many as 26,475 people would be eligible for more than $8.5 billion in compensation.

If that happens, the firefighter awarded $1.5 million this week would, in the end, actually get a prorated share of only around $488,000.

"I think without question, there is not going to be enough," said Noah Kushlefsky, a lawyer who, along with partners, is representing about 4,700 claimants. He said that he believed Congress would ultimately be asked to put more money into the fund. "There is no doubt, based on the severity of some of the injuries."

As for the slow pace of awards so far, Kushlefsky said Birnbaum and her staff are not to blame.

He said the process of assembling the evidence showing that his clients were actually at ground zero, or were exposed to toxins, has been challenging and time-consuming. But he said the process is hitting a stage when applications should be moving much more quickly.

"I think that things are going to start taking off in the very near future," he said, noting that some of his clients have grumbled about the slowness of the process. "All these guys have waited 11 years now, and none of them are warm and fuzzy about it."

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:36 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:36:46 GMT
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
  • Success Academy students waiting for word on new locations

    Success Academy students waiting for word on new locations

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:58 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:58:48 GMT
    The mayor's office is saying one thing. The charter schools another. It is a lot of he said, she said. The bottom line is that right now the future of three charter schools is still unclear. Jennifer Duran is afraid because she doesn't know where her two children are going to school next year. Both kids attend success academy Harlem 4, one of three charter schools that still does not have a set location. The other two charters are Success Academy Jamaica in Queens and Success Academy City Hall.
    The mayor's office is saying one thing. The charter schools another. It is a lot of he said, she said. The bottom line is that right now the future of three charter schools is still unclear. Jennifer Duran is afraid because she doesn't know where her two children are going to school next year. Both kids attend success academy Harlem 4, one of three charter schools that still does not have a set location. The other two charters are Success Academy Jamaica in Queens and Success Academy City Hall.
  • Connecticut man charged in Yale hoax threat

    Connecticut man charged in Yale hoax threat

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:33:11 GMT
    New Haven police say they have charged a Westbrook with making a hoax call in November to say an armed man was heading to shoot up Yale University.
    Police say they have charged a Connecticut man with making a call in November in which he falsely claimed an armed man was on his way to shoot up Yale University. New Haven police said Wednesday that 50-year-old Jeffrey Jones, of Westbrook, has been charged with falsely reporting an incident, threatening, reckless endangerment, misuse of the emergency 911 system and breach of peace.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices