The WTC Health Program, formerly the WTC Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program, began in early 2002 as a health monitoring program for 9/11 responders. Since its inception, there have been many changes to the Program, with the passing of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 being the most significant.
In effort to assist responders (both new and old) understand the workings of the new Program under the Zadroga Act, the WTC Health Program developed the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
FAQ - The WTC Health Program
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 is legislation passed by the United States Congress that created the World Trade Center Health Program.
The World Trade Center Health Program is also called the WTC Health Program. Its toll-f ree number is 1-888-982-4748. (1-888-WTC-HP4U).
The law also authorizes:
o Education and outreach for people who are eligible for the WTC Health Program
o The collection and analysis of physical and mental health data with patients' permission
o Research to better understand health conditions linked to the attacks
The program provides medical monitoring and treatment for emergency responders, recovery and cleanup workers, and volunteers who helped after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the passenger-jet crash site near Shanksville, PA.
The program also provides medical tests and care for residents, students, and people who worked in the New York City disaster area on 9/11 and for a time afterward, and for visitors who were there on 9/11.
No. The program provides medical tests and treatment only for conditions specified by law in the James Zadroga Act. If your doctor in the WTC Health Program suspects you have any other health problem, he or she will advise you about seeking care outside the program.
The WTC Health Program does not cost anything for people who are enrolled as long as you:
• Use health providers who are approved by the WTC Health Program for the medical evaluation to see if you can enroll in the program
• Use health providers who are approved by the WTC Health Program for any treatment you receive for 9/11-related health conditions
• Use pharmacies that are participating in the program to fill any prescriptions you are given for a condition related to 9/11
Call us at 1-888-982-4748 (1-888-WTC-HP4U). You also can download the enrollment form that fits you best atwww.cdc.gov/wtc/apply.html We can also mail you a paper form. If you need one, call us toll-free at 1-888-982-4748 (1-888-WTC-HP4U).
To apply to the WTC Health Program please visit: www.cdc.gov/wtc. You can download your application form from the website and send it back using mail or fax. We can also mail you an application form.
Approval times for each applicant will vary. Once you have been approved for the program, you will receive an acceptance letter notifying you of your approval.
You can check the status of your application by calling toll-free at (888)-982-4748 (888-WTC-HP4U).
FAQ - The Monitoring Visit
By law, the program is limited to the coverage of specified health conditions. If you are enrolled in the program and you’ve received monitoring, or if you are enrolled and will receive your first monitoring examination, tell the doctor about your problem and ask him or her to determine whether it is related to 9/11.
Your WTC Health Program provider will meet with you individually, informing you of the free treatment and services available to you.
You will be referred to someone to talk to about health care that is available through other programs, possibly at reduced cost or for free.
Yes. Everyone who is eligible for medical monitoring within the WTC Health Program is strongly encouraged to participate for three main reasons:
First, the exam may detect changes in body function that you are not aware of and that can be corrected or slowed with early intervention.
Second, measuring your health status over time helps your provider identify and intervene with any concerning trends.
Lastly, while the main focus of the program is to assess your health, the information that is learned about 9/11 responders will be extremely valuable in understanding how to protect workers in future emergency or disaster operations.
FAQ - Treatment for WTC Health Conditions
The list is below. If a program member gives permission, the WTC Health Program will collect and study your health information. This list of conditions will be updated as doctors and researchers learn more.
These conditions apply to FDNY members, New York City Responders, and New York City Survivors
Airways and Digestive Disorders
New occurrence or aggravation of these pre-existing conditions due to WTC work exposure:
Interstitial lung diseases (diseases that cause scarring of lung tissue); chronic respiratory disorder-fumes/vapors; asthma; reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS); WTC-exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); chronic cough syndrome; upper airway hyperreactivity; chronic rhinosinusitis; chronic nasopharyngitis; chronic laryngitis; gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD); sleep apnea exacerbated by or related to any of these conditions.
Mental Health Conditions
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and certain mood, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders
Secondary conditions related to disease progression or complication from treatment of the primary covered health condition
These conditions are covered for FDNY members and other New York City Responders, but do not apply to New York City Survivors:
Specific injury caused by WTC-related work and evidence of medical care within two years of the incident: Low back pain from disc injury, carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive motion injury
Secondary conditions related to disease progression or complication from treatment of the primary covered health condition
The program will cover medically necessary diagnostic evaluation and treatment costs for the covered conditions as per program protocols, including inpatient and outpatient medical procedures and prescribed medications. If during the diagnostic work up, the physicians determine that you do not have a covered condition, the clinic will assist you in finding medical care, but the program will no longer pay for these services.
The first step for receiving care is to apply to the program. Once you apply and have been determined to be eligible for and enrolled in the program, you will choose a clinic for your initial screening exam. During this exam it will be determined what WTC-health related conditions you may have.
Your WTC health program provider will make a clinical evaluation of your specific exposure situation and the type of health condition you develop (the diagnosis). Then the Administrator of the WTCHP must approve (certify) the evaluation and diagnosis to allow you to receive treatment for the specific health condition through your WTCHP Clinical Center of Excellence (CCE). The WTCHP Administrator’s decision will be shared with you through your CCE provider or via letter.
Yes, as long as the reason you are hospitalized is for treatment of a suspected or identified WTC-related condition.
Yes. However, the program only covers costs of care provided by WTC Health Program providers for WTC-related health conditions. It is important that all your health care providers are aware of all health conditions for which you receive any treatment for coordination of care.
Yes, each participating clinic includes mental health professionals who are experienced in treating WTC-related psychological and substance abuse problems.
You (or any interested party) may petition the WTC Program Administrator to add a recognized medical condition to the list of WTC-related health conditions in 42 CFR §88.1. Please use Please use this form.
The New York State Occupational Health Clinic Network can provide diagnosis and treatment of work-related health conditions.
In October, 2012 the WTC Health Program began covering specific cancers.
Below is a list of common questions responders have about their cancer benefits through the Program:
FAQ - Cancer Coverage
The Administrator added the following types of cancers:
- Childhood cancers occurring after 9/11/01
- Rare cancers Malignant neoplasms of the following:
- Lip, tongue, salivary gland, floor of mouth, gum and other mouth, tonsil, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and other oral cavity and pharynx.
- Nose, nasal cavity, middle ear and accessory sinuses
- Colon and rectum
- Liver and intrahepatic bile duct
- Retroperitoneum, peritoneum, omentum and mesentery
- Trachea; bronchus and lung; heart, mediastinum and pleura; and other ill-defined sites in the respiratory system and intrathoracic organs
- Soft tissues (sarcomas)
- Skin (melanoma and non-melanoma), including scrotal cancer
- Urinary bladder
- Renal pelvis, ureter and other urinary organs
- Eye and orbit
- Blood and lymphoid tissues (including, but not limited to, lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma)
The above covered cancers will be added to the WTC Health Program “List of WTC-Related Health Conditions” as of October 12, 2012. The “List of WTC-Related Health Conditions” is the list of physical and mental illnesses that are covered by the WTC Health Program.
For the WTC Health Program, the term “childhood cancer” means any type of cancer first diagnosed after 9/11/01 in a person less than 20 years of age at the time of diagnosis.
“Covered” means that all approved cancer treatment, drugs, and services will be paid for by the WTC Health Program. The WTC Health Program will only cover these costs when you have been certified by the WTC Program Administrator for a specific cancer. The list of WTC-related cancers are the only types of cancers that can be considered for certification. The WTC Program Administrator is certifying that your 9/11 exposure is related to your cancer.
No. The inclusion of your cancer on the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions does not mean that your cancer will automatically be covered by the Program. Your Program doctor must also find that your WTC-related exposures caused, aggravated, or contributed to your cancer and request certification of your cancer from the WTC Program Administrator. If the Administrator certifies your cancer, then you are eligible for treatment coverage in the WTC Health Program.
Certification is a two-step process.
1. First, your WTC Health Program doctor must confirm that the type of cancer you have is one of the cancers on the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions. This means that the doctor will have to review your biopsy report and other medical records. The doctor must also find that exposure to airborne toxins, other hazards, or adverse conditions resulting from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is substantially likely to be a significant factor in aggravating, contributing to, or causing your cancer. To do this the doctor must have the details of your WTC exposure and your subsequent medical history.
If your doctor confirms that you do have one of the cancers on the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions and that your exposure resulting from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is substantially likely to be a significant factor in aggravating, contributing to, or causing your cancer, she or he will request certification of your cancer from the Administrator of the WTC Health Program.
2. The Administrator then reviews all doctors’ requests for cancer certification. Your cancer will be certified for treatment coverage unless the Administrator finds that your cancer is not a cancer on the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions or that your exposure resulting from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is not substantially likely to be a significant factor in aggravating, contributing to, or causing your cancer.
The process of requesting certification for cancer may begin as of October 12, 2012. Members should contact their current Clinical Center of Excellence (CCE) to begin this process. If you do not know which CCE you are with, please contact our call center at 1-888-982-4748.
If you are not yet enrolled, and believe you may be eligible for the Program, please visit the WTC Health Program website for information about the application process, www.cdc.gov/wtc or contact the WTC Health Program at 1-888-982-4748.