U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said Thursday that the state Workers' Compensation Board should grant death benefits to the widow of State Trooper Lawrence W. Lakeman.
Lakeman died in 2007 of pancreatic cancer believed to have been caused by his service at the World Trade Center site after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
The state rejected the claim from Audra Lakeman of Lockport because she didn't file within two years of her husband's death.
Schumer said pancreatic cancer wasn't added to the list of benefit-eligible 9/11 diseases until February 2014, so Lakeman's 2015 filing should have been timely enough.
"We owe it to brave first responders like Trooper Lawrence Lakeman – who answered the call after 9/11 and got fatally sick as a result – to take care of their families," Schumer said.