Proving Your Presence at a 9/11 Site in Order to Receive Benefits 

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A 9/11 Attorney Will Help You Establish the Location Requirement

On September 11, 2001, the enormous loss of life was just the beginning of the 9/11 tragedy. In the years that followed, its full scope came into clearer focus. Virtually everyone who lived, worked, or studied in Lower Manhattan on 9/11 and the months after that were exposed to deadly toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center and are still at risk of developing 9/11-related illnesses. The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) provides benefits for all of those individuals, but, to qualify, they must prove that they were present in the area.

Our 9/11 attorney explains how to do so below:

Exposure Zones and Timeframe

NYC Exposure Zone

The NYC Exposure Zone is the VCF-determined area surrounding Ground Zero where individuals must have lived, worked, or studied to be eligible to receive VCF benefits. It mainly consists of Lower Manhattan south of a line that runs along Canal Street from the Hudson River to the intersection of Canal Street and East Broadway, north on East Broadway to Clinton Street, and east on Clinton Street to the East River.

9/11 Exposure Zone

Additional locations include any 9/11 site, including the Pentagon site, the Shanksville, PA site, and any other building that was destroyed as a result of the terrorist attacks.


To be eligible, a claimant must have been present at one of the sites in the “immediate aftermath” of the attacks, which is defined as the period beginning with the aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, and ending on May 30, 2002. There is no minimum requirement for the amount of time an individual must have been present at one of the relevant sites.

How to Prove You Were Present at a 9/11 Site in Order to Receive VCF or WTC Benefits

It can often be difficult to definitively prove that you were present at a particular place during a certain time, especially many years after the fact. However, the VCF accepts a wide range of documents proving that you were present in a 9/11 site during the relevant timeframe, including:

  • A letter from your employer confirming your work at the World Trade Center site
  • An official personnel roster
  • Pay stubs listing your employer’s address within the NYC Exposure Zone and confirming employment
  • Orders, instructions, site credentials, or confirmation of tasks performed
  • A sworn Employer Verification Form
  • A lease, proof of rent payment, mortgage receipts, or utility bills that list the address within the NYC Exposure zone
  • School or daycare records confirming enrollment or attendance during the relevant period
  • Worker’s injury reports documenting treatment as a result of an injury that occurred at the site
  • Medical records documenting treatment as a result of an injury that occurred at the site during the immediate aftermath of the attacks
  • A sworn and notarized affidavit
  • A personal statement (including as much detail as possible)

If you are having difficulty proving your presence, an attorney may be able to help you recover the necessary documents. Alternatively, a 9/11 attorney can help you prepare affidavits and personal statements that make the strongest arguments possible in support of your claim.

Contact Our 9/11 Attorney to Get Help With Proving Your Presence

For more information about proving your presence at a 9/11 site or to get help with preparing affidavits or personal statements, please contact the 9/11 attorney at Pitta & Baione LLP by using our online contact form or by calling us at 212-658-1766.