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Can the VCF Review My Claim Faster?

Review My Claim

9/11-related health conditions cause you to suffer not only physically, but also financially. If you’re an eligible responder or survivor who suffers from a 9/11 illness or cancer, you might be wondering how long it takes to receive the monetary award to which you’re entitled from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The VCF handles claims on a first-in, first-out basis, based on the date the claim was submitted. However, in very limited cases, the VCF may accelerate the review of your claim to review your submission faster.

How Long Does It Take to Process a VCF Claim?

The VCF reviews claims based on the date of submission. It prioritizes claims that have been waiting longer before reviewing newer claims. Every claim must go through the preliminary and substantive review stages before compensation can be issued. Significantly, a claim will only be prioritized for review once all necessary information has been provided to the VCF.

The amount of time it will take for the VCF to process a claim can depend upon several factors, including the complexity of the claim, whether the submission package is complete, the accuracy of the information, and how many claims are ahead. A claim can take longer to review based on the timeliness of any responses to the VCF’s requests for additional information from the claimant — or if it is waiting for documentation from third parties.

The VCF is continuing to shorten the timeframe for deciding on a claim. It strives to issue determinations within one year of submission of the claim form, as long as all information needed to process the claim has been submitted. Currently, claims submitted prior to December 2022 are receiving final award decisions.

When Will the VCF Review a Claim Faster?

To receive your VCF award as soon as possible, you must ensure your submission package is complete — and you must respond to any further requests for information as quickly as possible. Notably, the VCF will only expedite a claim under certain circumstances, including the following:

  • A responder or survivor has received a terminal diagnosis — In order to request that your claim be expedited based on a terminal illness, you must submit recent medical records that show the diagnosis and a letter from your physician.
  • A responder or survivor is experiencing imminent financial hardship — To request that your VCF claim be expedited in order to get your award sooner, you are required to submit documentation that demonstrates your financial circumstances. Specifically, you must show that you face dire financial circumstances, such as an eviction, foreclosure, or homelessness. A VCF claim will not be accelerated simply due to unpaid bills.

In the event you seek to expedite your claim, you will need to contact the VCF helpline and upload the required documents. The VCF will review your request promptly and notify you whether your request has been granted or denied. If your claim has been approved for the expedited process, the VCF will usually process the claim, issue the monetary award, and process payment within one month. Payment is issued once the award letter has been sent.

Contact an Experienced 9/11 VCF Attorney

Requesting to expedite a VCF claim can be confusing and stressful. A skillful VCF attorney can guide you through the process and obtain the monetary award to which you’re entitled for your 9/11-related health condition. 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 over a decade. For a free consultation, contact us today.


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