P.L. 2019, c. 157 (Chapter 157) - The Bill Ricci World Trade Center Rescue, Recovery, and Cleanup Operations Act

The Bill Ricci World Trade Center Rescue, Recovery, and Cleanup Operations Act, (Chapter 157) permits an active member of the PFRS, SPRS, and PERS Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) or Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) to file for an Accidental Disability Retirement if the member is or is to become totally and permanently disabled due to participation in the rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations at the World Trade Center between September 11, 2001, and October 11, 2001, regardless of whether the member was enrolled in the PFRS, SPRS, or PERS at the time of participation or under orders or instruction by an employer to participate.

P.L. 2019, c.157, The Bill Ricci World Trade Center Rescue, Recovery, and Cleanup Operations Act

Members must certify that:

  • They were present and worked at a location below a line starting from the Hudson River and Canal Street, east on Canal Street to Pike Street, South on Pike Street to the East River, and extending to the lower tip of Manhattan, and
  • Worked/volunteered for at least eight hours at the World Trade Center between September 11, 2001, and October 11, 2001; or
  • Worked/volunteered for a total of less than eight hours on September 11, 2001, and/or September 12, 2001, and sustained a documented physical injury that prevented them from continuing participation in the rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations.

And have a medically documented qualifying condition or impairment of health, which may include:

  • Diseases of the upper respiratory tract and mucosae, including conditions such as conjunctivitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, vocal cord disease, upper airway hyper-reactivity, trachea-bronchitis, or a combination of such conditions;
  • Diseases of the lower respiratory tract, including but not limited to bronchitis, asthma, reactive airway dysfunction syndrome, and different types of pneumonitis such as hypersensitivity, granulomatous, or eosinophilic;
  • Diseases of the gastroesophageal tract, including acute or chronic esophagitis and reflux disease caused by exposure or aggravated exposure;
  • Diseases of the psychological axis, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, or any combination of such conditions;
  • Diseases of the skin such as contact dermatitis or burns, either acute or chronic in nature, infectious, irritant, allergic, idiopathic or non-specific reactive in nature, caused by exposure or aggravated by exposure; and
  • New onset diseases resulting from exposure as such diseases occurring in the future including cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asbestos-related disease, heavy metal poisoning, musculoskeletal disease, and chronic psychological disease.

In accordance with Chapter 157, the Bill Ricci World Trade Center Rescue, Recovery, and Cleanup Operations Act, eligible PFRS, SPRS, and certain PERS members or retirees must register participation in the rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations at the World Trade Center site between September 11, 2001, and October 11, 2001, within two years of the date of enactment of Chapter 157, or July 8, 2021. The Eligibility Registration Form allows the member or retiree to be considered for Accidental Disability under this law if the subsequent disability is due to participation in the rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations at the World Trade Center.

In accordance with P.L. 2019, c.157 (Chapter 157), the Bill Ricci World Trade Center Rescue, Recovery, and Cleanup Operations Act, eligible PFRS, SPRS, and certain PERS retirees have the right to request a recalculation of an existing retirement to an Accidental Disability Retirement if you are currently disabled due to participation in the rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations at the World Trade Center.

  • Postcard Mailing to Retirees
  • In order to be eligible, you must submit the Eligibility Registration Form within two years of the date of enactment of Chapter 157, or July 8, 2021, to register participation in the rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations at the World Trade Center site between September 11, 2001, and October 11, 2001.
  • To request the recalculation of an existing retirement to an Accidental Disability Retirement, retirees must also submit the Request for Amended Benefits Form within 30 days of notification of this law or 30 days of knowledge of a disability and its relation to the World Trade Center rescue, recovery, and cleanup operations.


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Last Updated: Monday, 08/12/19