The New York State AFL-CIO, representing 2.5 million union workers and their families as well as our retirees and their families, supports the above-referenced legislation.
This bill amends the Retirement and Social Security Law to extend the filing period for workers to register for presumptive eligibility for disability retirement if they performed services at or near Ground Zero during the rescue, recovery and cleanup of September 11, 2001. Specifically, the bill extends the registration period for workers to begin the process to qualify for presumption that various illnesses are the result of the performance of their duties, for purposes the Retirement and Social Security Law.
The original law establishing the registration period and process was passed in 2005, however, the registry has been closed since 2010. This legislation would simply reopen the filing period, through September 11, 2015. Last year, legislation was enacted to reopen, for one year, the Workers’ Compensation registry, which had previously closed. This bill would provide a similar opportunity for registration to similarly situated workers.
The types of illness and injuries sustained during the aftermath of 9/11 continue to grow and many symptoms of those illnesses are only now starting to manifest themselves. This bill will not only help provide appropriate benefits to the heroes who served during the 9/11 rescue, recovery and cleanup operations, but it shows that when New Yorkers respond in support of their fellow citizens, that we will make sure their needs do not go unmet.
Therefore, this Federation urges this bill be passed.
For further information, contact the Legislative Department at 518-436-8516.