If you’re a responder or survivor who developed a health condition linked to the toxic dust cloud that covered Lower Manhattan in the weeks following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, you may be entitled to an award from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. However, the VCF’s procedures can be complex and confusing to navigate. It’s crucial to have an experienced 9/11 VCF attorney who can help you obtain the compensation you deserve — and answer any questions you have about the process.
Here are five essential questions you should consider asking when you meet with a VCF attorney:
1. Does My 9/11 Illness Qualify for a VCF Award?
To obtain compensation from the VCF, you must have an eligible health condition certified by the WTC Health Program. The VCF issues monetary awards for a wide range of illnesses linked to the toxic dust cloud, including all forms of cancer, aerodigestive disorders, respiratory illnesses, and musculoskeletal disorders. An attorney can answer your questions about qualifying conditions, guide you through registering with the WTC Health Program, and assist you with gathering medical documentation from a private physician if necessary.
2. How Do I Satisfy the Presence Criteria?
In addition to establishing a 9/11-related health condition, you must demonstrate that you were present in the NYC Exposure Zone in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks. An experienced 9/11 VCF attorney can help ensure you have the documentation needed to prove your presence — whether it be employment records, utility bills, or school records. They can also work with you to appeal a denial if you could not establish your presence when you filed your claim.
3. What Compensation Can I Receive?
A skilled 9/11 VCF attorney will be able to assess your claim and explain the compensation you are entitled to receive from the VCF. Economic and noneconomic damages are available to eligible responders and survivors. A VCF attorney will know how to calculate your economic damages and maximize your pain and suffering award to help ensure you obtain the monetary recovery you deserve for the impact your 9/11 illness had on your life and livelihood.
4. What’s the Difference Between the WTC Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund?
It’s important not to confuse the WTC Health Program with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. While these entities work together to help responders and survivors obtain monetary awards for their 9/11-related health conditions, they have their own separate registration processes and qualifying criteria. The WTC Health Program offers health screening and treatment for 9/11 illnesses and cancers — the VCF issues compensation for WTC Health Program-certified health conditions. A knowledgeable 9/11 VCF attorney can explain the difference between these programs and the benefits each can provide to you.
5. How Can You Guide Me Through the Process?
A 9/11 VCF attorney will have deep knowledge regarding the VCF’s rules and regulations. They can guide you through the procedures associated with obtaining compensation from the VCF — from registering with the VCF to streamlining all aspects of the claims process. A VCF attorney can help ensure the information you submit is complete from the outset to avoid delay in the processing of your claim. They can also assist you with obtaining the documentation you need, handle any issues that could arise in processing your claim, and work to appeal an unfavorable decision.
Contact an Experienced 9/11 VCF Attorney
If you are a responder or survivor with a 9/11-related health condition, you may be entitled to a monetary award from the VCF. Make sure you have the representation of a VCF attorney who can help you secure the maximum compensation you deserve. The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorneys at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. have represented VCF claimants and their families for over a decade. For a free consultation, contact us today.