Deadline extended to make wrongful death claim for 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund

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The deadline has been extended to make a wrongful death claim for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

Retired NYPD Officer Chris Dyckman of Seaford spent three months in the rubble of the World Trade Center. He says he was more concerned about helping others than the toxic dust he was breathing in.

“It was all about the city and trying to protect people,” says Dyckman, who now suffers from COPD, a condition he was first diagnosed with in 2011.

When he applied for benefits with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund in 2016, Dyckman was denied because he waited more than two years after his diagnosis.

Dyckman and other first responders, no matter how long ago they were diagnosed, now have another chance to be compensated. The fund has announced a temporary look-back period that will be in effect until July 29, 2021.

“This look-back period is a do over,” says Phil Alvarez, the brother of Luis Alvarez, the NYPD detective who inspired Congress to extend the Victim Compensation Fund shortly before he died of 9/11-related cancer.

Now Phil Alvarez is trying to get as many people as possible signed up for the program.

“My brother wanted the first responders and the victims to be found. And this new policy by the Victim's Compensation Fund allows us to just that,” Alvarez says.

Meanwhile, Officer Dyckman is still in the process of applying. He's hoping he'll be approved this time after risking his life, and his health all those years ago.

“There's no cure for COPD, it's going to get worse. Who knows what's going to happen down the line, what's going to happen to my family,” Dyckman says.

The Victim Compensation Fund will be in effect until the year 2090, effectively providing lifetime coverage for everyone enrolled in the program.

 

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