The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund provides monetary awards to eligible responders and survivors who have suffered from cancers, health conditions, and diseases linked to the toxins in the 9/11 dust cloud. However, the VCF has certain policies that you should be aware of — and procedures that must be followed as part of the claim filing process. While an experienced 9/11 VCF attorney can work with you to make the claim filing process easier, below are five VCF policies and procedures you should know about.
You Must Meet Certain Eligibility Criteria
The VCF has specific eligibility criteria that 9/11 responders and survivors must satisfy to obtain monetary compensation for their 9/11-related health conditions. Responders and survivors must show that they:
- Were present in the NYC Exposure Zone between 9/11/01 and 5/30/02
- Have a physical health condition linked to the toxins in the 9/11 dust cloud
- Dismissed, settled, or withdrew from any 9/11-related lawsuits
In addition, if you are a personal representative who is filing a claim on behalf of a deceased victim, you must establish that you are legally authorized to do so.
Your Condition Must Be Certified By the WTC Health Program
Your 9/11 health condition must first be certified by the WTC Health Program in order to file a VCF claim. The WTC Health Program also provides medical monitoring and treatment to eligible responders and survivors at no cost to them. Importantly, the WTC Health Program has its own eligibility criteria for responders and survivors, separate from that of the VCF.
You Must Register Before You Can File a VCF Claim
Whether you are a 9/11 responder or survivor, it’s critical to be aware that you must register with the VCF before you can file a claim for compensation. While the earliest VCF registration deadline was on July 29, 2021, responders and survivors should be aware that they may still be entitled to register. Critically, if your 9/11-related health condition was certified at any time after July 29, 2019, you have two years from the date of the latest certification to register with the VCF.
The VCF Compensates Economic and Non-Economic Loss
If the VCF confirms that you meet the eligibility criteria, it may issue an award for the economic and non-economic losses you incurred as a result of your 9/11-related health condition. Generally, non-economic loss — also referred to as a pain and suffering award — is the easiest for the VCF to review and is determined based on the type of condition and its severity. Economic loss can be more complex to calculate and may include loss of earnings and benefits, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and replacement services loss.
The VCF Has a Process to File Appeals and Amendments
If you believe your award was calculated in error, you may be able to file an appeal to challenge the VCF’s determination. Similarly, if your condition becomes substantially worse and you incur additional economic loss, you may be able to file an amendment to your claim. Amendments and appeals are two separate processes — a knowledgeable VCF attorney can evaluate which is appropriate based on your specific circumstances.
Contact a New York City 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund’s policies and procedures can often be confusing to understand. If you are an eligible responder or survivor, it’s vital to have an experienced 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorney by your side to guide you through the process of filing a claim — and help to ensure you receive the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorneys at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. have represented claimants and their families in 9/11 VCF claims for more than a decade. For a free consultation, contact us today.