World Trade Center workers’ compensation registration deadline: Sept. 13

People who performed rescue, recovery, or clean-up work at the World Trade Center have until Monday, Sept. 13, 2010, to register with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board to preserve their eligibility for future benefits, should they ever need them.

Since its introduction in 2006, 35,980 people have filed the WTC-12 form. It contains eight simple questions and must be notarized before filing. While the law typically has a two-year limit on opening a workers’ compensation claim, the WTC-12, while not a claim in itself, allows these workers — both paid employees and volunteers — to file future claims if they notify the Board of their participation in World Trade Center rescue, recovery or clean-up operations.

People who performed these activities in the area south of Canal Street, and at Fresh Kills Landfill, on the barges, the piers, and the morgues, up until Sept. 12, 2002, should file, no matter how long their service lasted. They should file the WTC-12 even if they are not ill or injured. Any worker who is presently ill and has not opened a claim should also file a C-3 form to pursue benefits. Residents of any state may register. Immigration status is not a factor.

The Board must receive the original, signed and notarized WTC-12 by Monday, Sept. 13. Board staff will be available in New York City metropolitan area offices to assist in completing and filing the forms. Faxing, e-mailing, and simply mailing it or postmarking it by that date is not sufficient. While the statute has a Sept. 11 deadline, the law extends any deadline to the following Monday when it falls on a Saturday or Sunday. Therefore, the Board will accept all WTC-12 forms that are received on or before Monday, Sept. 13.