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The VCF Registration Deadline is Quickly Approaching: What it Means for You

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If you’re an eligible 9/11 responder or survivor, it’s crucial to be aware that the registration deadline to file a claim with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund is quickly approaching. Depending on when the WTC Health Program certified your 9/11-related health condition, you may be required to register with the VCF by July 29, 2021 to preserve your right to file a claim. Without first registering to file a claim, you could be forever barred from obtaining the compensation you deserve from the VCF.    

Who Has to Register with the VCF Before the July 29, 2021 Deadline?

The regulations associated with the VCF deadlines can be confusing to understand. Critically, the VCF’s registration deadline is different from the cutoff date to file a claim — which has been extended until October 1, 2090. Registering with the VCF and filing a claim are two completely separate processes with different requirements. Importantly, while the same claim filing deadline applies to all responders and survivors, not everyone has the same registration deadline.

July 29, 2021 is the earliest VCF registration deadline, pursuant to the Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act. Although all responders and survivors may register by this date, whether they are required to do so can vary based on individual circumstances. Those who must register with the VCF on or before the July 29, 2021 deadline include:

  • Responders who had their eligible 9/11-related illness certified by the WTC Health Program before July 29, 2019.
  • Survivors who were certified by the WTC Health Program before July 29, 2019.
  • The personal representative of a responder or survivor who passed away due to a 9/11-related health condition prior to July 29, 2019.

However, if your 9/11-related health condition was certified by the WTC Health Program after July 29, 2019, you have two years from the latest date of certification. Additionally, the personal representative of a victim who died from a 9/11-related cancer or illness after July 29, 2019 has two years from the date of the victim’s passing to register.      

Is VCF Registration Necessary to File a Claim?

If you have been diagnosed with a 9/11-related health condition, registering with the VCF is a prerequisite to filing a claim for compensation. The VCF will consider any claims submitted by eligible responders and survivors as long as registration was timely.

Significantly, if you’re a responder or survivor who spent time at Ground Zero or in the NYC Exposure Zone between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002, you should strongly consider registering with the VCF — even if you don’t think you’re sick or you haven’t been diagnosed with an eligible condition. Due to long latency periods, many 9/11-related cancers and illnesses may not develop until decades later. By registering with the VCF, you are preserving your right to file a claim at any point in the future, but are under no obligation to do so.

Contact a New York City 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney

If you were a 9/11 responder or survivor, it’s essential to understand that you may be entitled to compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund if you have been diagnosed with a 9/11-related health condition. However, navigating the VCF regulations and understanding the deadlines can be confusing and overwhelming. An experienced 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorney can assist you with registration and the claim filing process — and help ensure you receive the monetary award from the VCF to which you’re 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 over a decade. For a free consultation, contact us today.

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