The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund’s earliest registration deadline is quickly approaching. After July 29, 2021, certain responders and survivors may be precluded from obtaining the compensation they deserve from the VCF if they fail to timely register. But it’s crucial to understand to whom the July 29 registration deadline applies, as the Special Master has determined that it will not be extended beyond this date. Critically, this registration deadline was intended by the VCF to be a “grace period” announced in December 2019 to allow responders and survivors who didn’t know the VCF existed — or that they were eligible for compensation — to file a claim.
Who Must Register with the VCF By July 29?
While the July 29, 2021 VCF registration deadline does not apply to everyone, any responder or survivor can still register by this date. Not to be confused with the claim filing deadline — which is October 1, 2090 for all eligible survivors, responders, and personal representatives in deceased claims — the registration deadline can vary based on individual circumstances.
Although the VCF will continue to review late-filed registrations to determine whether extenuating circumstances exist warranting waiving or tolling the deadline, it’s best to register on or before July 29 to avoid denial.
Those who are required to register with the VCF by the July 29 deadline include the following:
- Responders who had a 9/11-related cancer, illness, or health condition certified by the WTC Health Program prior to July 29, 2019.
- Survivors who were certified by the WTC Health Program for a 9/11 health condition before July 29, 2019.
Notably, the VCF recently eliminated the requirement that the personal representative of a 9/11 responder or survivor file a deceased claim by July 29, 2021 if the death occurred before July 29, 2019. Now, wrongful death claims can be registered in a timely manner at any point until October 1, 2090, regardless of when the victim passed away.
In deceased claims, the personal representative must register within two years of either the date the 9/11 related health condition that caused the death was certified or the date of death — whichever is latest. If the 9/11 illness was not certified, the personal representative may register within two years of the date it was verified by the VCF.
Eligibility for Registering with the VCF
Importantly, you are not required to have had a 9/11-related health condition certified by the WTC Health Program in order to register with the VCF. Although it is necessary to have your eligible condition certified by the WTC Health Program to file a claim for compensation — and obtain monetary recovery — you can register with the VCF even if you haven’t been diagnosed or don’t think you are sick. Registration does not require you to file a claim, but it preserves your right to do so in the event that you are eligible to receive a VCF award.
Those who should consider registering with the VCF by the July 29, 2021 deadline include responders who aided in the rescue, recovery, and cleanup efforts in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002. Survivors who lived, worked, or went to school in the NYC Exposure Zone during the same time period should also register. However, registration after this date may still be timely if the necessary criteria are met.
Contact a New York City 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney
If you were a 9/11 responder or survivor who spent time at Ground Zero or in the NYC Exposure Zone, you may be entitled to an award from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. However, it is necessary to understand the VCF’s registration and claim filing deadlines to ensure you receive your rightful compensation. An experienced 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorney can assist you with navigating the process and help you recover maximum compensation.
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.