The federal government is expected for the first time to acknowledge a link between the toxic conditions at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and several different kinds of cancer.
An official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told FoxNews.com that a new rule will be published as early as Monday. The rule will officially recognize that first responders and others at the World Trade Center site could have gotten cancer from the exposure.
"It adds (cancer) to the list of covered conditions," the official said.
The move by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health means cancer victims will be able to apply for federal compensation from the $2.8 billion fund established under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
Those applying will still have to go through a certification process with the government to determine whether their medical condition is deemed linked to exposure at Ground Zero.
It's unclear exactly what types of cancer will be covered under the final rule. A proposal back in June by the Health and Human Services Department listed more than a dozen types of cancer -- including skin, breast, stomach and colon cancer -- as potentially covered under the compensation fund. The fund already covered conditions like asthma, posttraumatic stress disorder and a range of lung and airway disorders.
Once the rule is issued, the government can start to pay out to first responders and others.
But despite more potential victims qualifying as a result of the government's decision, the size of the compensation fund is not expected to increase.
Congress has allocated a fixed amount of $2.775 billion for victims. Of that, $875 million can be distributed in the first five years of the program -- the rest can be paid after that.
According to 2010 statistics from the New York State Department of Health, nearly 350 first responders from 9/11 had died of cancer at the time.