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Office of the New York State Comptroller’s Seal

NYS Comptroller

Thomas P. DiNapoli

World Trade Center Presumption

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a presumption?
  2. I assisted in the recovery and clean up operations, but was stationed in various locations throughout the city. Am I eligible to take advantage of this presumption?
  3. Will this law grant me an accidental disability benefit?
  4. I am an active member. Is there a filing deadline for this benefit?
  5. If I retired prior to September 11, 2001, am I eligible for this benefit?
  6. I retired after working at the World Trade Center site. If I develop a qualifying condition, does this law provide any additional retirement benefit?
  7. I participated in the rescue, recovery and clean up operations but have since left public service. Would I be eligible to apply for World Trade Center accidental disability benefits?
  8. Is there a deadline for filing for a reclassification?
  9. If I retire with a service retirement and choose to receive a Partial Lump Sum (PLS) payment, will I still be able to file for a reclassification of my benefit to a World Trade Center accidental disability benefit?
  10. I already retired with an accidental disability benefit. Does this law provide me with any additional retirement benefit?
  11. I am retired and have one of the qualifying conditions. If I die due to this condition, does this law provide any additional benefit to my beneficiary?
  12. Where can I get more information?
  1. What is a presumption?

    When we say “presumption,” we mean something is assumed in the absence of proof to the contrary. If you are found permanently disabled from performing the duties of your position due to a qualifying condition, unless the contrary is proven by competent evidence, we can presume your ailment was the result of your work in the World Trade Center site rescue, recovery or clean up operations if:

    • Your pre-employment physical or your medical records prior to September 11, 2001, did not show any evidence of the qualifying condition; and
    • You worked at the World Trade Center site as defined below.
  2. I assisted in the recovery and clean up operations, but was stationed in various locations throughout the city. Am I eligible to take advantage of this presumption?

    It depends where you were, since the law is very specific. To be eligible, you must have participated in rescue, recovery or clean up operations during the first 48 hours after the first airplane crash or a total of 40 hours between September 11, 2001 and September 12, 2002, at one or more of the following locations:

    • The World Trade Center site (defined as the area below a line starting from the Hudson River and Canal Street bearing east on Canal Street to Pike Street, continuing south on Pike Street to the East River; and extending to the lower tip of Manhattan);
    • The New York City (NYC) morgue or any temporary morgue;
    • The Fresh Kills Landfill; and
    • On the barges that ran between Manhattan and the Fresh Kills Landfill.

    You may also qualify if you:

    • Participated in the rescue, recovery or clean up operations at specific NYC police department, fire department or emergency medical services sites during the first 24 hours. Please see Chapter 489 (Laws of 2008) for details.
    • Repaired, cleaned or rehabilitated vehicles or equipment, owned by the City of New York, contaminated by debris, regardless of whether the work was done at one of the above locations.
  3. Will this law grant me an accidental disability benefit?

    No, this law only provides the presumption that your disability may be the result of an accident if you are disabled due to certain qualifying conditions. If your retirement plan provides an accidental or performance of duty disability retirement benefit, and you are able to establish that you are permanently disabled, this law will help you qualify for a World Trade Center accidental disability presumption.

  4. I am an active member. Is there a filing deadline for this benefit?

    You must file a Notice of Participation on or before September 11, 2018. There is no deadline for you to file for a World Trade Center Accidental disability benefit.

  5. If I retired prior to September 11, 2001, am I eligible for this benefit?

    No. You must have been an active member on September 11, 2001.

  6. I retired after working at the World Trade Center site. If I develop a qualifying condition, does this law provide any additional retirement benefit?

    You may be able to reclassify your service or disability retirement benefit to a World Trade Center accidental disability benefit by filing an Application for World Trade Center Accidental Disability Presumption (RS6047-W) Adobe pdf. You must file the World Trade Center Notice on or before September 11, 2018.

  7. I participated in the rescue, recovery and clean up operations but have since left public service. Would I be eligible to apply for World Trade Center accidental disability benefits?

    As long as you meet all eligibility requirements, including filing a Notice on or before September 11, 2018, you can file an Application for World Trade Center Accidental Disability Presumption (RS6047-W) Adobe pdf. If you are a vested member, you can file at any time. If you are not vested, please see your plan booklet.

  8. Is there a deadline for filing for a reclassification?

    As long as you file a Notice with us on or before September 11, 2018, there is no deadline to file for a reclassification.

  9. If I retire with a service retirement and choose to receive a Partial Lump Sum (PLS) payment, will I still be able to file for a reclassification of my benefit to a World Trade Center accidental disability benefit?

    Yes, assuming you file a Notice with us on or before September 11, 2018. However, if you are approved, and your benefit is reclassified, you would be required to repay the PLS amount, plus interest. For more information about PLS, including eligibility, please read our brochure, Partial Lump Sum (PLS) Payment at Retirement — For Eligible Retirement System Members (VO1750).

  10. I already retired with an accidental disability benefit. Does this law provide any additional retirement benefit?

    It does not provide an additional retirement benefit.

  11. I am retired and have one of the qualifying conditions. If I die due to this condition, does this law provide any additional benefit to my beneficiary?

    If you die within 25 years of your date of retirement and a valid World Trade Center notice was filed on or before September 11, 2018, eligible beneficiaries, as defined by law, may be able to convert your service or disability retirement benefit to a World Trade Center accidental death benefit. Your beneficiaries must file an Application for World Trade Center Accidental Death Benefit within the time limit specified by your retirement plan. Your beneficiaries relinquish any rights to any benefits that may have been payable to them under your retirement benefit, including any post-retirement death benefit, if the benefit is converted to a World Trade Center accidental death benefit. If your beneficiary eligible for the World Trade Center accidental death benefit is not the same person you designated to receive your service or disability retirement benefit on your option selection, the accidental death benefit will be reduced by the amount payable to any other beneficiaries.

  12. Where can I get more information?

    Email us or contact our Call Center toll-free at 1-866-805-0990, or at 518-474-7736 if you live in the Albany, New York area.