For many responders and survivors, their 9/11-related health conditions not only had a devastating impact on their physical health — their illnesses took an economic toll on their lives, as well. If you developed a 9/11-related illness or disease that has affected your ability to work, you may be entitled to receive an award from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for the financial loss you’ve suffered. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has represented thousands of responders and survivors for their VCF economic loss claims to help them recover the maximum amount possible for their lost wages and benefits.
How are VCF Economic Loss Claims Valued?
The VCF provides compensation to responders and survivors who have suffered financially due to loss of earnings and employment benefits in connection with their 9/11-related physical health conditions. The VCF considers economic loss claims for past lost wages — as well as future lost earnings for those unable to be employed or have a reduced capacity to work. Loss of pensions, retirement contribution programs, and health benefits may also be included in a VCF economic loss award.
Past lost wages calculated by the VCF include those incurred prior to submitting a VCF claim. The VCF considers future lost earnings based on those incurred after the economic loss claim has been submitted.
In cases where the victim died from an eligible 9/11-related physical condition, VCF economic loss claims for lost wages and benefits can be made for those sustained before the death occurred. Future lost earnings may also be recovered, calculated from the date of the victim’s death.
What Evidence is Needed to Support a VCF Claim for Past Lost Earnings?
Typically, the VCF considers the information provided by the Social Security Administration, FDNY, or NYPD to determine earnings history. For those who are unable to provide information from the SSA, the VCF will look at:
● Tax returns
● Statements of profit or loss
● W-2 forms
● 1099 forms
● Pay stubs
● Employment offer letters
Responders and survivors who believe their future earnings potential may be greater than that which their earnings history demonstrates may provide additional documents when submitting a claim for economic loss. The VCF may consider letters offering promotions, proof of bonus eligibility, stock options, and any other type of employment benefit that may not be listed in your SSA earnings history to consider whether an increase to your economic loss award is warranted.
If you didn’t obtain a third-party disability determination, you can still recover compensation for lost wages by demonstrating “discrete lost earnings.” In these cases, the VCF will require proof of lost wages from your employer and documentation that establishes you were unable to work, such as medical reports or Workers’ Compensation records.
Disability Determinations for Future Lost Earnings Eligibility
Responders and survivors who have a permanent partial or total disability due to their 9/11-related health conditions may be eligible to receive compensation for future lost earnings. The VCF considers disability determinations made by government agencies, including the Social Security Administration, FDNY, NYPD, NYCERS, Workers’ Compensation, or the VA in support of a claim for future lost wages. In some cases, the VCF will also consider disability determinations rendered by an insurer, private physician, or the WTC Health Program.
Determining future lost earnings in VCF economic loss claims can be complex. The VCF considers a number of factors when calculating future lost wages, including age at the onset of the disability, income after taxes, work-life expectancy, projected compensable income, and risk of unemployment.
Contact a New York City 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney
If you are a responder or survivor who suffered economic loss due to your 9/11-related health condition, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost earnings and employment benefits from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The VCF attorneys at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. have the experience necessary to help ensure you’re justly compensated for the financial burden you’ve incurred as a result of your 9/11-related health condition. Contact us for a consultation.