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October 4, 2001

Comp board acts to facilitate claims for terrorism victims' families

The state Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) has created an on-line form to help families that lost loved ones in the Sept. 11 terrorism at the World Trade Center in New York City.

Specifically, the form is intended to relieve family members of WTC victims of the normal requirement that they testify at a workers' compensation hearing to establish that they are indeed the lawful dependents of the deceased or missing person.

In a typical workers' comp claim, dependents of a deceased worker must appear before the Board to testify and swear under oath as to their status as a dependent, the WCB said in a release.

The new form, when signed and notarized, will serve as a substitute for sworn testimony, the release said.

In addition to being available at www.wcb.state.ny.us, the affidavit form can be mailed to individuals claiming benefits, or obtained at the board's outreach center at Pier 94 in Manhattan.

The board has also suspended the practice of requiring dependents to produce a death certificate to begin action on claims.

Claimants needing additional services related to the WTC disaster can call any of three hotlines: 1-800/580-6665; 1-800/697-4878, or 1-800/877-1373.