Gov. Cuomo signs legislation to deliver pension and health benefits to 9/11 first responders, volunteers and workers

New York News

NEW YORK (NEWS10) – Governor Cuomo signed 6 bills today at the 7th annual Motorcycle Ride in New York City

Governor Cuomo said the legislation signed on Wednesday will help ensure first responders and public sector officers and employees who developed a qualifying health condition as a result of their response to 9/11 rescue, recovery and clean-up efforts at World Trade Center sites receive the pension and health benefits they deserve.

The Governor also announced that New York will donate an additional $1.8 million to fully fund the capital costs for the 9/11 Memorial Glade. Finally, the Governor posthumously awarded the Public Service Medal to Det. Luis Alvarez, an NYPD Detective and 9/11 First Responder who fought to make the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund permanent.

A complete list of the 6 bills signed at the motorcycle ride:

S.5890-A/A.7819-A makes it easier for volunteers at the World Trade Center site who now work for the state to file claims for sick leave by providing a process for public authorities and municipal corporations outside of New York City to obtain reimbursement for line of duty sick leave granted to their employees and allowing certain municipalities and authorities to use sick leave for qualifying World Trade Center conditions. This bill also provides protection to employees while on leave and establishes greater review and oversight of claims processing by state and local governments.

S.1966-A/A.3593-A increases the number of physicians authorized to evaluate members of the New York City Employee Retirement System applying for a disability pension. This allows NYCERS to acquire a pool of physicians with the necessary expertise to properly evaluate World Trade Center related disabilities, helping prevent lengthy delays and denials of disability pensions for 9/11 first responders.

S.6313/A.7892 extends the time period to file an application for an accidental death benefit after the death of a loved one to five years. This allows the family of members of the New York State and Local Retirement System or the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System sufficient time to apply for the benefit.

S.5898-D/A.8278-C expands World Trade Center disability benefits to include Tier 3 and 4 public employees who are members of the Teacher’s Retirement System and the State and Local Employees Retirement System. This bill would provide a final average salary disability retirement benefit and three-quarters disability pension to certain participants in World Trade Center rescue, recovery or cleanup operations.

S.5246-A/A.7716-A provides retirees of the New York City fire department who are diagnosed with certain cancers or melanoma a presumption that the cancer was incurred in the performance of duties. The bill establishes a five-year look-back window, making the retirees eligible to receive disability benefits.

S.4166-A/A.1801-B establishes September 11th Remembrance Day, which allows for a brief moment of silence in public schools across the state at the beginning of the school day every September 11th. The Governor signed this bill on September 9, and held a ceremonial signing today.

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