COVID-19 Heroes Compensation Fund
Across the country, frontline workers including doctors, nurses, hospital staff, emergency medical technicians, police officers and firefighters have put their lives at great risk to save others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nobody has risen to the challenge or given more than New York’s frontline workers, despite working unending shifts under battlefield conditions.
New York was the initial epicenter of the COVID-19 public health crisis in the United States, and our frontline workers emerged as heroes who put their lives at risk for the good of all New Yorkers. In this unprecedented crisis, our heartfelt thanks go out to New York’s frontline workers.
While attending to COVID-19 patients, some of New York’s frontline workers have lost their lives, and many have become ill – the toll this crisis has taken on New York’s healthcare workers and first responders (indeed, on all New Yorkers) is enormous.
One thing is certain – for what they have given, and for what they have sacrificed, day-by-harrowing-day – New York’s frontline workers deserve our full and unrelenting support, which must not end when this crisis subsides.
This is why Finz & Finz, P.C., has lobbied for the establishment of a COVID-19 Heroes Compensation Fund to compensate workers who have suffered physical and psychological damage while battling COVID-19, as well as families of frontline workers who have succumbed to this illness.
On April 9, Stuart L. Finz, the Chief Executive Officer and Senior Trial Attorney of Finz & Finz, P.C., sent an urgent letter to the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, imploring him to spearhead the establishment of a medical compensation fund for New York’s frontline workers similar to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). Within hours after receiving Mr. Finz’s letter, Governor Cuomo announced that he would work with New York’s congressional delegation to establish a “COVID-19 Heroes Compensation Fund.”
Since Mr. Finz’s letter and Governor Cuomo’s commitment, other prominent New York leaders have joined the call-to-action, including New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, the New York City Uniformed Firefighters Association and New York State Senator David Calucci, who has proposed legislation to fast-track the establishment of a COVID-19 Heroes Compensation Fund.
“The time has come for our government to establish this medical compensation fund – we must stand with New York’s frontline workers and their families, not just in our time of crisis, but also in their time of need.” – Stuart L. Finz
Finz & Finz, P.C., is proud to be at the forefront of this fight on behalf of frontline workers and their families. If you are a frontline worker who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or if you have lost a loved one who was a frontline worker to this illness, we urge you to contact Finz & Finz, P.C., so that we can keep you up-to-date on the status of this vitally important fund.
Economic Stimulus vs. Medical Compensation Fund
Members of the United States Senate, led by Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, are pushing for the creation of a “Heroes Fund” intended to provide an economic stimulus and incentives for essential workers, including doctors and nurses, grocery store workers, transit workers, and more. If established, the stimulus fund would provide:
- A $25,000 premium pay increase for essential workers (equivalent to a raise of $13 per hour from the start of the public health emergency until December 31, 2020); and
- A $15,000 essential worker recruitment incentive to attract and secure the workforce that is needed to fight the public health crisis.
Although Senator Schumer’s advocation for a “Hero’s Fund” is admirable and necessary, it leaves behind the most important funding – funding for the families of those frontline workers who have lost their lives and for those who have suffered physical and psychological damage while battling COVID-19 on behalf of all New Yorkers. Finz & Finz, P.C., strongly supports Senator Schumer’s economic relief package, but our efforts are focused on providing compensation to frontline workers and their families for the devastating physical and psychological losses that many of them have suffered.
The 9/11 Fund Serves as a Model
New York has faced crises before where frontline workers have risked their health and lives to protect fellow New Yorkers. After 9/11, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) was established to provide compensation for those workers and their families. We believe that today’s frontline workers and their families are also entitled to compensation.
While the details and scope of such a fund cannot be determined until the aftermath of the current crisis, we expect that any future fund will be based on the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which required the submission of extensive information and supporting documents in order to process each application. Consulting an experienced lawyer can help guide you through the application process and ensure that you meet all of the eligibility requirements prior to submitting a claim.
Benefits of Hiring a COVID-19 Heroes Compensation Fund Attorney
Although the policies and procedures for filing and processing claims under a new COVID-19 Heroes Compensation Fund have not yet been established, retaining an experienced COVID-19 fund lawyer can help you navigate the claims submission and recovery process and provide you with the comfort and security you need – knowing that your claim has the greatest likelihood of approval and that you will receive maximum compensation. Our COVID-19 fund attorneys can:
- Help you gather the information necessary to prepare and file a claim
- Prepare and submit the legal documentation required to evidence your award eligibility
- Obtain all of your medical and employment records, which will be used to document the physical injuries you or your loved one suffered while on the frontline of the COVID-19 outbreak
- Collaborate with industry-leading medical, financial and vocational experts to document and prepare testimony advocating for an award that covers all of your economic and non-economic damages, including pain and suffering
- Analyze your financial records in order to calculate and recover any lost earnings
- Negotiate with insurance providers, including Medicaid and Medicare, to reduce the amount of money you may owe for the reimbursement of medical costs
- Argue an appeal on your behalf, in the event that your compensation award is less than it should be or denied altogether
- Work with you in drafting a victim impact statement to give you an opportunity to express how deeply your family has suffered physically, emotionally and psychologically from exposure to COVID-19 and to further support your claim for compensation
- Assist in arranging for the appointment of an estate executor or administrator, if your loved one has succumbed to COVID-19
- Timely complete your application, so that your claim is not barred by any deadline
Contact Finz & Finz, P.C., to Learn More and Stay Up-to-Date on Your Right to Compensation
We must never forget the frontline workers who have died, become sick, or suffered permanent disabilities due to COVID-19. If you lost a loved one who was fighting on the frontline of this pandemic, or if you became ill while working in an essential field, please contact us now. Finz & Finz, P.C., is committed to advocating on your behalf. Our COVID-19 fund attorneys will stop at nothing to help you maximize the financial recovery that you need and deserve.