WOODBURY - Long Islanders who became sick at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11 attacks must decide by Jan. 2 if they'll apply for compensation from the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

Anyone who chooses to sue in the case will be barred for life from getting money from the fund, which is named after a police detective who became ill and later died after taking part in recovery efforts at Ground Zero.

Others can choose to apply for benefits from the fund, which does not presently include people who developed cancers after working at Ground Zero. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) says he's confident there is enough wiggle room in the Zadroga bill to allow for cancer-related illnesses to be covered.

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