MANHATTAN—In 2015 Congress re-authorized nearly $7.5 billion for victims of cancer and respiratory diseases through December of 2020.
But a record number of new victims are applying for those funds at a rapidly increasing rate, especially over the last four months.
The result could be dire.
Current claims could be slashed by 50 percent, future claims would get 70 percent less than what should be authorized.
The Special Master for the Victim Compensation Fund released a statement saying:
There is insufficient funding remaining in the fund to pay all current and projected claims at the same levels as under current policies and procedures.”
“No. No. I’m in construction. I’m a Local 3 electrician. 7 of our guys were in Tower One affected by 9/11. They need to put more money in there and keep it at 100 percent,” said Connor Turner of Far Rockaway, Queens in response to the news.
First responders and elected officials have shamed congress in the past by fighting to authorize more money for victims to the toxic brew of chemicals, drywall and concrete that have spawned thousands of confirmed cases of cancer.
The fund first lapsed in 2004, and has been renewed several times since by battling advocates.