As a result of a recent decision issued by the New York City Fire Department Pension Board, some firefighters, who were previously ineligible to receive a disability-related award from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), may now be able to do so. The Fire Department Pension Board recently voted to allow retired firefighters who are receiving a WTC disability pension due to a psychological condition to reclassify their applications to include any 9/11-related disabling physical conditions they may also be suffering from.
In the past, a firefighter retired due to a 9/11-related psychological ailment (such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, etc.), was not eligible to apply to the VCF for an economic because their disability was not based on a 9/11-related physical condition. However, under this new ruling, that could change.
“The decision allows a member, who received a WTC Disability Pension for a qualifying mental condition only, like PTSD, to seek to reclassify their WTC Disability Pension by adding a qualifying physical condition, such as prostate cancer”, according to Attorney Nicholas Papain, a senior partner at SPBMC. “This is critical, in terms of applying to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund for an economic loss award, since the VCF will not issue an economic award for a disability that is based solely upon a mental condition.”
A reminder to call us with any Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) related questions.