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What Documents Do You Need to File a VCF Claim?


Filing a claim for compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund can involve a considerable amount of paperwork. In addition to submitting the necessary forms provided by the VCF, eligible responders and survivors may also need to include additional documentation supporting their claims. While the VCF may be able to obtain certain information depending on whether it has any arrangement with your employer, it’s important to provide all required documentation when you initially submit your claim to avoid any delay in processing.        

Documentation for VCF Personal Injury Claims     

If you’re filing a claim for yourself — or on behalf of a deceased victim whose cause of death was not related to their eligible 9/11 health condition — the VCF provides a checklist to help you determine which documents are necessary to file with a personal injury claim. Importantly, the VCF requires submission of the following documents to commence a substantive review of a personal injury claim:

  • Claim form
  • Signature page
  • Medical records authorization
  • Documentation establishing presence in the NYC Exposure Zone
  • Social Security Administration Consent form, if claiming economic loss
  • ACH payment form or original client authorization for depositing payment into your attorney’s account

Since the circumstances surrounding every claim are different, the VCF will notify you if additional documentation is required to process your claim. If you were a firefighter at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the VCF will obtain proof of presence directly from the FDNY. For all other responders and survivors, two forms of proof of presence should be provided with your claim submission. Additionally, since the VCF works with the WTC Health Program to certify eligible conditions, no further evidence concerning your physical condition is needed.    

If applicable to your claim, you may also need to submit documentation concerning any 9/11-related lawsuits, replacement services loss, an authorization for release of pension records, information concerning collateral source payments or disability benefits, and Workers’ Compensation claims.  

Documentation Necessary to Submit for a Deceased Claim

If your loved one died from an eligible 9/11-related cancer or health condition, the personal representative of the victim’s estate must provide specific information to the VCF for it to begin substantive review of a deceased claim. If the victim died from causes unrelated to their 9/11 illness, the personal representative should file a personal injury claim, rather than a wrongful death claim.

If your loved one passed from their eligible 9/11-related health condition, the VCF requires that you file the following documents:

  • Claim form
  • Letters of Administration, Letters Testamentary, or other documents appointing the Personal Representative or Administrator of the Estate
  • Death certificate
  • Authorization for release of medical records
  • Documentation supporting presence
  • Life insurance information
  • Social Security Administration consent form, if claiming economic loss
  • ACH payment form or original client authorization for depositing payment into your attorney’s account

The VCF may also require other documents, depending on the facts of the claim. In deceased claims, once the VCF completes its substantive review of a claim for compensation, amendments are only permitted in limited circumstances — it’s essential to make sure that all required documentation is submitted when the claim is initially filed. 

As with a claim for personal injury, proof of the victim’s presence in the NYC Exposure Zone must also be submitted with a deceased claim, unless they received an award from the original VCF which operated between 2001 to 2004. Significantly, the VCF won’t award compensation for a deceased claim without information concerning the victim’s life insurance policy, or a statement confirming that there is none. 

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

If you are an eligible 9/11 responder or survivor, you may be entitled to receive an award from the VCF. However, navigating the regulations can be confusing, frustrating, and complicated. A 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney can guide you through the VCF claims process and help ensure you file the necessary documents to support your claim so that you receive the maximum compensation payout 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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