Pitta & Baione, LLP: World Trade Center Lawyer
What is a World Trade Center Lawyer?
Determining eligibility and applying for benefits under the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) can be confusing, which is why many survivors and first responders choose to work with a World Trade Center (WTC) lawyer. Every WTC lawyer from Pitta & Baione, LLP has years of experience in guiding clients through the application process. In fact, our firm was among the first to help 9/11 victims with applications to the WTCHP.
What is the World Trade Center Health Program?
Established by the Zadroga Act in 2010, the WTCHP provides health services such as medical monitoring, treatment, and medication for physical and psychological illnesses related to toxic dust exposure as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Individuals who qualify for the program can access a range of health services free of charge at designated clinics in New York City and across the United States. The WTCHP is now permanently authorized and fully funded through 2090.
What Conditions Does the World Trade Center Health Program Cover?
The WTCHP covers 9/11 specific health conditions that have been determined to be caused or exacerbated by exposure to dust and other toxic air conditions created by the September 11 attacks (“Covered Conditions”).
Covered Conditions include almost all types of cancer, lung diseases, and aerodigestive disorders, as well as psychological conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety. The WTCHP website maintains a comprehensive and current list of Covered Conditions. Remember: Even if you’re not sure if you’re illness is connected to 9/11, you can schedule a consultation with a WTC lawyer at our firm to discuss your options.
Where Can I Receive Free Health Care under the WTC Health Program?
Once you are accepted as a member of the WTCHP, you may access free health care services for your covered condition at Clinical Centers of Excellence (CCEs) located throughout the New York City metropolitan area. Participating CCEs include:
- Responder CCEs: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York University School of Medicine, Northwell Health, State University of New York-Stony Brook, Rutgers University.
- Survivor CCEs: Bellevue Hospital Center, Gouverneur Healthcare Services, Elmhurst Hospital Center.
- FDNY CCEs: FDNY Headquarters, Brentwood, Commack, Fort Totten, Manhattan, Middleton, Staten Island.
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering is an in-network provider for all victim classifications.
Free health services for WTCHP members are also available outside of the New York metropolitan area through a Nationwide Provider Network (NPN). The NPN is available to survivors and responders who live in the United States – but outside of the New York metropolitan area. NPN clinics are typically located within 30 miles of those who live in urban areas and within 70 miles of those who live in rural areas.
WTCHP physicians who practice at these CCEs and NPNs are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of 9/11-related physical and mental health conditions. These clinics have treated over 80,000 WTCHP members nationwide.
What if I Already Have a Doctor I Like?
Services and benefits of the WTCHP are completely voluntary.
Regardless of the healthcare treatment you choose, it is important to note that health services will only be free of charge under the WTCHP if:
- They are provided by a WTCHP physician; and
- They relate to and/or are designed to treat the patient’s Covered Condition.
WTCHP members are free to choose whether they receive treatment from a WTCHP provider, from another provider, or through some combination of the two. For example, some WTCHP members may choose to continue treatment with their existing health professionals – but only use the WTCHP pharmacy benefits in order to eliminate their prescription drug copayments.
How Does the World Trade Center Health Program Work with My Existing Health Insurance?
The WTCHP does not conflict with any existing private or public health plans and generally serves to ensure that benefits are provided at no cost to the WTCHP member. In some instances, benefits under the WTCHP will be coordinated with the benefits or coverage available from your insurance provider. For example:
- For responders, the WTCHP serves as the first payer for medical and mental health treatment services (meaning that existing health insurance will never be billed for any medical treatment service rendered by the WTCHP to treat a certified 9/11-related health condition).
- For survivors who have existing public or private health insurance, your existing health insurance serves as the first payer and will be billed first for any medically necessary treatment rendered by the WTCHP.
Regardless of your health insurance coverage, as a WTCHP member you will never be responsible for paying any co-insurance charges, copayments, or deductibles for treatment of your Covered Condition, so long as the services are provided by a WTCHP physician.
Why Do I Need a WTC Lawyer?
Although anyone can submit an application to participate in the WTCHP, we do not advise going through this process without help from a knowledgeable World Trade Center lawyer. Unlike other law firms that burden their clients with completing application paperwork, at Pitta & Baione, LLP an experienced WTC attorney will do all the legwork for you. An incomplete and/or incorrect application is the number one cause of delays and denials of coverage under the WTCHP. You may risk losing your benefits if you do not know how the process works.
At Pitta & Baione, LLP, our lawyers help clients with WTCHP applications every day. We understand the process, have good relationships with decision makers, and regularly counsel clients on the WTCHP application and eligibility requirements. We know how to prepare an application that is likely to be approved. In fact, unlike many other firms that advise clients in this space, our WTC attorneys will complete all of the paperwork for you, thus saving you time and hassle. We also regularly help expedite claims for clients who need to access their health benefits quickly. Even if you do not currently have symptoms of a covered health condition, if you were exposed to toxic air conditions during and after the September 11 attacks, there is no reason not to contact us today.
If the information provided on this page seems confusing, that’s because it is. Pitta & Baione, LLP can help. Call us today at 844-740-2952 and let a World Trade Center lawyer at our firm review your claim.