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Zadroga Act extension approved by Congress

Frank J. Dito, Jr.
Car accident, personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney serving Staten Island and Brooklyn New York.

First responders and others injured on or after Sept. 11 will get guaranteed health care coverage until 2090 now that Congress has approved an extension of the fund December 18, 2015.

Included in a $1.1 trillion spending package was an extension of the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act long fought for by Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirstin Gillibrand, and more recently by Rep. Daniel Donovan, as well as other lawmakers and comedian Jon Stewart, who took on the cause while hosting "The Daily Show" and continued the work after ending his stint with the Comedy Central production.

The spending package, known as the omnibus, extends the WTC Health Fund until 2090, an "effectively permanent" extension, at a cost of $3.5 billion.

It also extends the Victim Compensation Fund five years, at a cost of $4.6 billion.

The WTC Health Fund expired in October 2015. While it contained enough funds for the next year, the uncertain future plagued both its beneficiaries and those lawmakers who aimed to get it extended permanently.

The Victim Compensation Fund was set to expire this year.

(SILive contributed to this report)