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Steamy stretch of weather arrives on Long Island; temps will feel like between 90 to 95

Bill would increase disability payments for civilians sickened at ground zero

The health effects of Sept. 11-related illnesses are well-known, but some civilians who helped during the cleanup say the disability payments are being limited.

News 12 Staff

Jun 17, 2019, 7:19 PM

Updated 1,828 days ago

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The health effects of Sept. 11-related illnesses are well-known, but some civilians who helped during the cleanup say the disability payments are being limited.
Oceanside's Thomas Gunn was a carpenter who worked for months at the Fresh Kills landfill where 9/11 debris was sorted and identified. He had to take a disability pension after contracting serious breathing problems. But he says since he was not a uniformed person like a police officer or firefighter, his disability pay was limited to just 33% of his salary.
State Sen. James Gaughran has introduced a bill to help nonuniformed workers get the same disability percentages as other employees. He says it could cost several million dollars, but it's the right thing to do for those who helped on and after 9/11.
State housing and community renewal agency worker Arthur Syken suffers from thyroid cancer that he says he got from working near Ground Zero. He's holding off on retiring, hoping that Gaughran's bill is passed.
Gaughran hopes the bill will be voted on before the legislative session ends on Wednesday. If not, lawmakers would have to reintroduce the bill next year.


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