NEW YORK — The 9/11 attack 20 years ago touched lives in every corner of the country, according to a new report chronicling victim compensation claims from every state in the nation.
Though the damage was done and lives were lost in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Penn., new data from the official September 11 Victim’s Compensation Fund shows that no state was untouched by the impact of the deadly terrorist attack.
And sadly, two full decades later, officials believe that more people have died from 9/11-related illnesses than were lost when hijacked planes brought down the World Trade Center and crashed into the Pentagon and into an open field in Pennsylvania.
“We must never forget those lost and injured during the attacks, and we must also address the suffering that continues,” said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“In the decades since 9/11, tens of thousands of responders and survivors have become sick or died because of their exposure. While no amount of money can erase the losses our nation endured on that day and in the years since, the Department’s September 11th Victim Compensation Fund is dedicated to providing compensation to those who continue to suffer as a result of the 9/11 attacks.”
According to the fund’s 20th Anniversary Special Report, the fund through last month has received compensation claims from every state as well as from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Claims also came in under the categories “other” and “unknown.”
New York State led the way with 46,505 claims. New Jersey had 7,079 claims. Florida had 3,778 claims, and Pennsylvania had 1,164.
North Dakota had 3.
Since the fund was reopened in 2011, registration has surged, thanks in part to its “If you were there, register!” campaign.
The statistics also show a significant increase in recent years in the percentage of claims filed by survivors. Nearly half of claimants have a cancer as one of their eligible conditions.
The fund has issued awards to more than 40,000 individuals totaling more than $8.95 billion.