Trenton – The Senate Labor Committee voted today to advance legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Lagana and Senate President Nick Scutari that would provide workers’ compensation benefits for certain public safety workers who developed illness or injury in the course of their duties responding to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Under the bill, S-2965, these responders would be eligible for benefits under the workers’ compensation law, regardless of when the claim is filed, provided that the worker was treated or monitored through the World Trade Center Health Program established by the Centers for Disease Control.
“When the horror of 9/11 first struck our nation’s soil, thousands of first responders immediately came to the rescue of their fellow Americans. Two decades later, even as these heroes continue to suffer physically as a result of their bravery, many still have not been duly compensated,” said Senator Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic). “This bill eliminates existing statutes of limitations and paves the way for first responders to receive essential benefits to which they are entitled “
The World Trade Center Health Program provides no-cost medical monitoring and treatment for certified World Trade Center-related health conditions to those directly affected by the 9/11 attacks in New York, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The program also funds medical research into physical and mental health conditions related to 9/11 exposures.
“When the emergency call went out on 9/11, these responders answered that call to service without hesitation. These same public responders deserve our gratitude, and they deserve to receive the compensation they have earned without delay,” said Senator Scutari (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset).
The bill advanced out of the Senate Labor Committee by a vote of 5-0.