The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

July 8, 2013

Health meetings planned: Benefits available for 9/11 responders

— Area responders to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks – including the United Airlines Flight 93 crash in Shanksville – soon may  receive medical benefits as part of The World Trade Center Health Program.

The program was set up as part of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, an act put in place to extend and improve protections and services to individuals directly impacted by the terrorist attacks, program services manager Laurie Breyer said.

“The act included health care (monitoring and treatment) for World Trade Center, Pentagon and Shanksville responders,” she said.

“The act passed in January of 2011, but it didn’t go into effect until July 1, (2011),” she said, adding that enrollment for the program was not available until May of this year – nearly two years later.

The program is to provide responders with preventative monitoring and treatment for health issues that may have arisen as a result of their efforts in responding to the incidents, Breyer said.

“It will also cover survivors in the New York area as well,” she said.

Not just focusing on emergency response personnel, the program is to cover all types of responders, Breyer said.

“A lot of people think that only means firefighters and police,” she said, adding that rescue-recovery workers, debris cleanup crews and support volunteers also may receive benefits.

Locals who helped aid in Sept. 11 relief can apply for the program, Breyer said, and two town hall meetings are to be held July 18 for Shanksville responders at the Shanksville-Stonycreek School District, 1325 Cornerstone Road in Friedens.

“We are trying to go out and find some people who may have responded,” she said, explaining that the meetings are to be held at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Attendance may be minimal, and the meetings should be relaxed, Breyer said.

“I’m guessing they may be small, but we’re trying to get the word out,” she said. “I’d like to keep it pretty informal.”

The meetings are to include a brief, informative PowerPoint presentation about the program followed by a question-and-answer session, Breyer said.

Those who believe they qualify for the benefits may then apply to be covered, she said, explaining that it is a limited care program – only covering specific health issues.

“There is an application process,” Breyer said. “It will basically ask what you did, where and for how many hours.”

Applicants are asked to provide any documentation they might have confirming their involvement, Breyer said.

However, she said program administrators do understand it has been some time since the attacks, and they are treating applicants with some leniency.

“We understand that, 12 years later, documentation may be hard to find, so they may submit a third-party account,” Breyer said. “It doesn’t have to be notarized or anything.”

After information is provided, it will be determined if applicants qualify for the program, and they will then be tested to see if they have any qualifying illnesses, she said.

“We look at the information they provide,” she said, “and, initially, if they aren’t determined to have any conditions qualifying under the program, they will still receive the free monitoring.”

If applicants are determined to have suffered illness as a result of exposure during their contributions, Breyer said they are to be covered and treated at one of the nationwide provider network sites near their home.

“We try to get it within 30 minutes of their home,” she said.

More than 60,000 people have joined the program, and many have received preventative care and treatment, according to a news release.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • LCB Wine1a Does state know when to say when?

    Booze sales on Sunday have proven so popular the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is breaking a state law limiting how many stores the system can operate on the first day of the week.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • mccord Gubernatorial hopeful wins mayor’s support

    Gubernatorial candidate Rob McCord has received an endorsement from Johnstown’s highest-ranking elected official.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • reading night ‘Story Laboratory’ stirs kids’ interest in reading, science

    Mad scientists and Dr. Seuss characters were the stars Thursday as Conemaugh Township Area children helped concoct mysterious potions that bend the laws of physics and learned how french fries can drive you to work.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Republicans tout ‘right’ credentials

    All three Republican Party candidates in Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District race attempted to distinguish themselves as the person conservative enough to represent the state’s most conservative district in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday night.

    April 24, 2014

  • elder abuse 1 Calling attention to elder abuse

    As far as states with the oldest populations go, Pennsylvania hovers near the top, depending on which statistical report you read. Along with an ever-growing elderly demographic comes more instances of seniors being abused or cheated out of money.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cambria adds security to thwart copper thefts

    Would-be copper thieves, be warned: Anyone trying to steal copper wiring from any of the 17 towers that make up Cambria County’s 911 communications system will be caught on camera.

    April 24, 2014

  • Commissioners praise response to bomb threat

    Two days after a bomb threat closed the Cambria County Courthouse for half a day, officials handed out accolades to those who pulled off an efficient search and quick apprehension of the alleged perpetrator.

    April 24, 2014

  • Black fly program to target river corridor

    The Cambria County commissioners Thursday entered into an agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection that opens the door for the state to provide black fly suppression spraying.

    April 24, 2014

  • Inmate faces sex charges

    An Altoona man was charged with rape after authorities accused him of sexually assaulting another man while both were inmates at the Cambria County Prison.

    April 24, 2014

  • Garage collapses hours after vehicle rammed structure

    No one was hurt when a garage collapsed Thursday afternoon in the Oakland section of Stonycreek Township, Cambria County.

    April 24, 2014

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads