Committee recommends adding cancers to covered 9/11 illnesses
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Director Dr. John Howard followed the recommendation of the WTC Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee in proposing to add the cancers to the list of covered illnesses. The proposal, published in the Federal Register, will be reviewed following a 30-day comment period that ended July 13.
Rescue workers who qualify would be able to seek monies to cover their medical needs and compensation payments. The money would come from federal programs created to help workers who developed illnesses as a result of their efforts.
Congress capped funding for the program at $1.55 billion for medical treatment and $2.78 billion for compensation. The program is open for another 4 1/2 years. So far, 60,000 people have enrolled in the programs.
Officials have not determined how much money might be due to people with cancers. The special master overseeing applications for compensation said payouts to families of people killed by cancer may be significant and it may become necessary to prorate payments if funding runs out.
Meanwhile, some medical experts have expressed doubts that cancers are actually related to exposures from the debris of the collapsed towers. Some have noted that it typically takes many years, or even decades, for an environmental exposure to develop into cancer.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
July 16, 2012
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