A bill signed into law yesterday extended the September 11th Worker Protection Task Force Act, which supports those afflicted with a disability as a result of working at the World Trade Center, for another five years.
The extension, sponsored by Senator Marty Golden and Assemblyman Peter Abbate, will allow the task force to continue aiding public employees — including police, fire, correction, sanitation and civilian workers — who provided rescue, recovery, and cleanup at the former World Trade Center site and other designated locations after the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.“I am proud to announce that working with my colleague, Assemblyman Peter Abbate, the New York State legislature has rightly extended the opportunity for our state to care for those who responded in the wake of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center. The task force has played a critical role in helping many of those who were exposed to hazards at Ground Zero. Now, it will continue to operate and we can make sure that we assist all in need appropriately,” said Golden, a former police officer.
Studies have shown that World Trade Center workers were exposed to numerous hazards which may have, and may continue to, impact their health in the future.
If any public employee was exposed to these hazards and can no longer perform their jobs, even after retirement, this law allows for an additional five years for the employee to apply for an accidental disability retirement. The application would be subject to the respective retirement system review process by proving, by competent evidence, that the illness or injury was caused in connection with exposure to any elements at the World Trade Center site.
In continuing the task force for another five years, the law also allows them to continue identifying other issues that have arisen from the rescue, recovery, and cleanup of the former World Trade Center site.