9/11 victims could lose financial aid: NY lawmakers
Victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US may lose financial support in October 2016 unless Congress reauthorizes the compensation fund, say three New York lawmakers.
The lawmakers have issued warnings as the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund will expire then. However, officials have resolved only a quarter of compensation claims so far.
Over 5,600 awards have been approved which have totaled more than $1.3 billion.
“At that pace, the program will run out of money,” said Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, and Peter King in a press released on Monday.
“Claim determinations could be cut by half or more, unless Congress extends and fully funds the program,” warned the lawmakers, who introduced a bill a few months ago.
The bill, which authorizes the funding and extends it permanently, has been backed by a quarter of the House, according to Maloney.
A new report by the fund shows the number of claimants who have or have not received compensation so far.
First responders account for 91 percent of the awards granted so far and people with cancer constitute 18 percent of the awards.
Of over 19,000, who have submitted compensation eligibility forms to the fund, only about 13,000 could be decided for now.
More than 11,700 were eligible for compensation; however, about half of them have not received it.
To be regarded as eligible for compensation, a person must show evidence that the claimant was present at the World Trade Center, Pentagon or Shanksville, Pa., during or after the attacks in 2001.
Also, they must have evidence that the claimant died of, or suffered from, an illness or injury directly caused by the attacks. In addition, they must have a signed authorization that allows the fund to collect information to process the claim.