When you’re filing a claim with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), it’s important to keep in mind that there are many deadlines involved with submitting the necessary paperwork. While the VCF’s claim filing deadlines and registration deadlines may be the most important to be aware of to avoid your claim being denied outright, there are numerous other procedural deadlines you should know.
VCF Registration Deadline
If you’re a responder or survivor, it’s critical to be aware of the VCF Registration Deadline. The VCF Registration Deadline is based on the date that your eligible conditions were certified by the WTC Health Program.
If the WTC Health Program certified your eligible conditions before July 29, 2019, you must register with the VCF by July 29, 2021.
If the WTC Health Program certified your eligible conditions after July 29, 2019, or in the future certifies your eligible conditions, you must register with VCF within two (2) years of the date your conditions were certified.
Registration vs. Claim Filing
It is important to understand that VCF registration is different than VCF claim submission. VCF registration is a simple process that merely preserves your right to file a claim in the future. Claim submission, on the other hand, is the actual submission of your claim for financial compensation. As long as your register by your applicable VCF Registration Deadline, you can submit a claim to VCF anytime before October 1, 2090.
Notifying the VCF About Collateral Offsets
If, after receiving a financial award from VCF, you receive any other compensation based on your eligible conditions, you must notify VCF within 90 days. As long as you do, VCF will not seek to recover the value of those payments from the VCF award you received, even though that amount would have been an a “collateral offset” if received prior to the issuance of your VCF award. Collateral sources include:
- Social Security Disability
- Workers’ Compensation
- VA Benefits
- Short-term disability
- Long-term disability
- Disability pension
- Any other payments made to you in connection with your 9/11-related injury or condition
If notice is given to the VCF after 90 days from the date you learned that you were entitled to receive the collateral source payment, your award may be adjusted accordingly.
Filing an Appeal
If you received a determination on your award and were found ineligible for compensation or believe the amount was miscalculated, you have the right to file an appeal. There are two critical deadlines in the appeals process — failure to upload or postmark an Appeal Request Form within 30 days of notification about the VCF’s award decision could result in you inadvertently waiving your right to appeal.
After you submit your Appeal Request Form, you only have 60 days from the date specified in your award letter to submit your completed Appeal Package to the VCF.
Filing an Amendment in a Deceased Claim
If you’re a Personal Representative who filed a deceased claim but didn’t seek all the compensable losses you were entitled before payment was issued, an amendment must have been filed on or before March 9, 2020. However, the VCF recognizes certain limited circumstances that allow you to file an amendment past the deadline, including if not allowing the amendment would result in “substantial injustice.”
Deadlines for Submitting Missing Information
The VCF will notify you if any information or documents are missing from your claim submission by sending you a “missing information letter.” The information requested in the letter must be submitted to the VCF within 60 days from the date on the letter to avoid the possibility of your claim being denied.
Contact a New York City 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney
If you were a 9/11 responder or survivor and suffered an eligible 9/11-related health condition or cancer, it’s crucial to ensure that you adhere to any applicable deadlines associated with your claim for compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Navigating the VCF regulations and understanding the deadlines to register and file a claim can be confusing, frustrating, and complicated. A 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorney who is knowledgeable about the deadlines and regulations involved can guide you through the VCF claims process and help ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled from the VCF.
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.