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What Happens After You File a VCF Claim?

File a VCF Claim

The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was established to help ensure all responders and survivors obtain the monetary awards they deserve for their 9/11-related health conditions. While filing a VCF claim can be complex, you might be wondering what happens after you submit your paperwork. Importantly, VCF claims are handled on a “first-in, first-out” basis — and there are several stages a claim will go through before you can receive the compensation you deserve.

Automated Documented Check Process

After you submit a claim to the VCF, it will go through an Automated Document Check Process before proceeding with further review. This process ensures you have submitted the documents necessary for the VCF to evaluate your claim. Once the VCF has verified that you submitted a completed signature page and authorization to release medical records, along with your claim form, your claim can then move on to the preliminary review stage.

The Preliminary Review Process

During the preliminary review process, the VCF will look at your claim to ensure you have submitted the minimally required documents. Specifically, the VCF will make sure you have submitted the following documents:

  • Claim form signature page
  • Authorization for the release of medical information
  • WTC Health Program certification
  • Documentation regarding proof of presence
  • VCF client authorization form or ACH payment information form

After the VCF has determined that you have provided the information necessary to process your claim, it will be assigned to a claim reviewer and proceed to the substantive review process.

The Substantive Eligibility Review Process

Following the preliminary review process, your claim will go through the substantive review process. This stage of review ensures that you satisfy the VCF’s eligibility criteria. The VCF will review your claim to determine the following:

  • Your claim was registered by the applicable registration deadline
  • You meet the VCF’s presence criteria
  • You have an eligible health condition
  • You resolved any pending 9/11 lawsuits
  • Personal representative information, in a deceased claim

If you are missing documentation, the VCF will send you a missing information letter. You will have 30 days from the date of the letter to submit the required documentation. Failure to do so can result in the VCF making an eligibility decision based on the information that you submitted. If you have been determined eligible to receive compensation, the VCF will send you a letter explaining its decision and move on to compensation review.

The Compensation Review Process

During the compensation review process, the VCF will review your claim to understand the financial impact caused by your 9/11-related health condition. It will review your documents to support your claim for economic loss and verify proof of lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, replacement services, and other pecuniary losses. The VCF will also determine your non-economic loss and determine whether you have any collateral offsets.

Upon confirming that the VCF has all of the information needed to calculate your compensation, it will deem your claim “substantially complete.” The Special Master then has 120 days to issue your compensation determination. The VCF will typically calculate the amount of compensation soon after a claim has been rendered “substantially complete.” It will send you a letter that explains the breakdown of your economic loss, non-economic loss, collateral offsets, and the total amount of compensation.

Contact an Experienced New York City 9/11 VCF Attorney

If you are a responder or survivor who suffers from a 9/11 illness, cancer, or disease, you may be entitled to receive a monetary award from the VCF. It’s vital to have a knowledgeable VCF attorney by your side who can help ensure you obtain the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorneys at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C., have been providing skillful representation to claimants and their families in 9/11 VCF claims for over a decade. For a free consultation, contact us today.


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