Bipartisan Group of U.S. Senate and House Lawmakers Join More Than One Hundred 9/11 First Responders & Former Daily Show Host Jon Stewart to Push for Permanent Extension of James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Programs

Members of Senate & House Participate in Lobby Day Launch Rally with First Responders & Jon Stewart for Permanent Extension of Zadroga Act

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – With the 9/11 Health and Compensation programs set to begin expiring at the end of September, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), and U.S. Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Peter King (R-NY), more than 100 first responders and survivors, and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart to push Congress to pass a full and permanent extension of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.


Jon Stewart, first responders and survivors – many sick from the toxins ingested on September 11th and its aftermath – met with members of the U.S. Senate and House to implore Congress to reauthorize the World Trade Center Health Program and Victim Compensation Fund established by the Zadroga Act.


“In the dark moments of 9/11, our policemen, firefighters, medics, construction workers, and volunteers were the heroes at Ground Zero,” Durbin said. “Passing a permanent extension of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act will provide screening, treatment, and support for those rescue and recovery workers and community members, who answered the call of duty when our country was under attack. It’s time we show our gratitude for their bravery.”


Facts on the WTC Health Program and September 11th Victims Compensation Fund


This is a national program. Participants in the WTC Health Program include first responders and survivors – area residents, workers and children – harmed by the disaster. Enrollees reside in all 50 states, in 429 of the 435 Congressional Districts.


More than 33,000 responders and survivors have at least one illness or injury. These participants receive treatment and medical care through the WTC Health Program for many chronic diseases and respiratory illnesses, including asthma, sinusitis, obstructive pulmonary disease, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. As a result of these chronic illnesses, many first responders are disabled and can no longer work.


More than 72,000 responders and survivors receive medical monitoring. Incidence of illness and 9/11-related cancer has grown since 9/11. Since 2012, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has added several types of cancers to the list of 9/11-related illnesses covered by the WTC Health Program. Studies show that 9/11 workers have gotten certain cancers – including prostate, thyroid, and multiple myeloma – at significantly higher rates than the general population.

According to the Centers for Disease Control 4,166 first responders have a 9/11-related cancer.

Over 85 NYPD and over 131 FDNY personnel have reportedly died from their 9/11 illnesses since 9/11.


More police officers have died from 9/11 related illnesses than perished on 9/11.


The Victims Compensation Fund has provided compensation to 6,285 injured 9/11 individuals eligible for compensation. This economic aid is essential to responders, survivors and their families, who suffered economic loss because of physical injuries as a result of involvement in Ground Zero, including breathing in toxins. Many studies have documented the health effects of the WTC attacks, which include lower and upper respiratory diseases, gastrointestinal conditions, and certain cancers. These illnesses have caused major financial strains on many of those exposed who are subsequently no longer able to work.


Similar federal programs are permanent. Lawmakers are pushing to make the two Zadroga programs, the WTC Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, permanent similar to other programs Congress has created. Both the Federal Black Lung Program for coal miners and the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA),which assists nuclear workers who built atomic weapons in the 50’s and 60’s or now work in our nuclear industry are permanent and fully funded.