KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

First Payments Awarded From 9/11 Compensation Fund

Fifteen first responders received payments from a federal fund set up to compensate people who were sickened by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. So far, fewer applications have been received by the fund than officials estimated they would receive.  

The New York Times: 9/11 Health Fund Pays Out Its First 15 Awards
The recipients’ names were not released, but 14 are firefighters and one is a correction officer who responded to the disaster early on, mainly on the first day, said Sheila Birnbaum, the special master of the $2.8 billion victim compensation fund. Most of them had respiratory illnesses and none of them had cancer, she said. Their awards, which are tax-free, ranged from $10,000 to $1.5 million (Hartocollis, 1/29).

The Wall Street Journal: 9/11 Fund Sets First Payments
The fund has received fewer than 100 completed applications for money, officials said. That suggests the program may end up receiving far less than the 34,000 total claims for aid that fund officials estimated. Congress created the $2.8 billion fund two years ago to compensate those who developed health problems after working around the sites of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, as well as a Pennsylvania field where passengers forced the crash of a jetliner hijacked by terrorists (Barrett, 1/29).

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