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VCF Issues New Guidance Regarding Presence Information for Volunteers


Thousands of volunteers worked alongside 9/11 responders to assist at Ground Zero and in the NYC Exposure Zone following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. They included those in the Salvation Army, volunteer firefighters, American Red Cross volunteers, EMTs, clergy members, off-duty police officers, church groups, medical professionals, and countless others. Tragically, like responders and survivors exposed to the toxic dust cloud in lower Manhattan, many of these volunteers became ill with a wide variety of 9/11-related health conditions. 

If you were a 9/11 volunteer who was diagnosed with a respiratory illness, cancer, aerodigestive disorder, or musculoskeletal disorder, you may be entitled to compensation from The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Importantly, the VCF recently updated its policies and procedures to issue new guidance regarding presence information for volunteers who signed in at Trinity Church. It’s essential for volunteers to be aware of the new criteria so that they understand what information must be included with their claims.  

What Presence Information Should Volunteers Submit with a Claim?

The VCF has records of volunteers who signed in at Trinity Church, which is located at Broadway and Wall Street. However, there is certain information that volunteers must provide when submitting a claim. If you recall signing in at Trinity Church to volunteer for the rescue, recovery, or cleanup efforts at Ground Zero or in the NYC Exposure Zone, you should provide a written statement with your claim that includes the following details:

  • You must specifically note that you signed in at Trinity Church as a volunteer
  • You must list the specific dates you remember signing in
  • You must provide the name of the organization with which you volunteered
  • If you were not volunteering with a group, provide a description of the type of volunteer work you were doing

In addition to establishing proof of presence, volunteers must ensure that their 9/11-related health conditions are certified by the WTC Health Program. Volunteers who provide the above information will not need to include any additional presence documentation when submitting their claims. The VCF will review each claim and request any additional proof of presence information it requires. 

VCF Compensation for 9/11 Volunteers

A 9/11 health condition can severely impact all aspects of a victim’s life. Significantly, volunteers in the NYC Exposure Zone may be entitled to receive a monetary award for their economic and non-economic losses in connection with their 9/11-related illnesses. Economic loss covers things like lost wages, future lost earnings, loss of employment benefits, out-of-pocket medical costs, and replacement services loss. 

Non-economic loss, also referred to as “pain and suffering,” is meant to compensate a victim for how their illness impacted their quality of life. Under the Zadroga Act, a claimant may receive up to $90,000 for a non-cancer condition and a maximum of $250,000 for a 9/11 cancer. The amount of compensation issued will depend upon the severity of the illness, the type of condition, and the ways in which the condition has affected the victim’s life. In limited cases, the Special Master may exceed the statutory cap.  

Contact an Experienced New York City 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney

If you are a 9/11 volunteer who has been diagnosed with a 9/11-related health condition, you may be eligible to receive compensation from the VCF. However, navigating the VCF’s procedures and claim filing process can often be confusing. It is crucial to have the representation of a knowledgeable VCF attorney who can help ensure that you receive the maximum monetary award to which you are 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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