If you’re a 9/11 responder or survivor, you may be entitled to compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The VCF was established under the Zadroga Act to help ensure those eligible obtain the monetary recovery they deserve for the illnesses they developed due to exposure to the chemicals in the post-9/11 toxic dust cloud. However, securing a VCF award isn’t necessarily straightforward — this is why it’s crucial to have a knowledgeable VCF attorney by your side who can help you navigate the claims process.
Here are five critical ways a VCF attorney can help you with your claim:
1. A VCF Attorney Will Know the Eligibility Requirements
The VCF has strict eligibility criteria for responders and survivors. Not only must a claimant have been in the area defined as the NYC Exposure Zone, but they must have been present during the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks. It can often be difficult to understand the presence requirements — and proving you were in a particular place in Lower Manhattan during this time can be a challenge. If you qualify for compensation, an experienced VCF attorney will be able to help you establish your eligibility.
2. A VCF Attorney Will Understand How to Submit a Claim
Filing a VCF claim isn’t always an easy process. There can be many pitfalls. Importantly, before you can file a claim, you must register to do so. A VCF attorney will understand the procedures and timelines associated with filing a claim for compensation. They will also know what documents and information must be included in the claim submission package to avoid delay or denial.
3. A VCF Attorney Can Help Ensure You Don’t Miss Any Deadlines
There are many deadlines associated with filing a VCF claim. Although you have until October 1, 2090, to submit a claim, there are different registration deadlines depending on the facts of your case — and the date you were diagnosed with an eligible condition. Significantly, if the VCF requests further information from you to support your claim after it has been filed, there are also deadlines by which it must be provided. A skilled VCF attorney will be aware of these deadlines and ensure you do not miss them.
4. A VCF Attorney Can Assist You with Proving Your Economic and Non-Economic Losses
A 9/11 illness may have a significant financial impact on a responder or survivor — and a claimant may be entitled to recover various economic and non-economic losses. A VCF attorney can identify and calculate your economic losses so that you receive the maximum amount of compensation allowable. In addition, a VCF attorney can help ensure you have the documentation necessary to prove the non-economic losses you suffered in connection with your 9/11-related health condition.
5. A VCF Attorney Can Help You File an Appeal or Amendment
If the VCF denied your claim — or new information arose since your claim was submitted that would have resulted in a different award amount — a VCF attorney can help you file an appeal or amendment. Understanding the course of action that should be taken can be confusing. Having the guidance of a VCF attorney can help ensure you use the correct procedure and do not waive your rights.
Contact an Experienced 9/11 VCF Attorney
Filing a VCF claim can be overwhelming and stressful. A skillful VCF attorney can guide you through the process to ensure you obtain the compensation you’re entitled to. 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.