Responders and survivors were exposed to thousands of chemicals, carcinogens, and toxins in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As a result, many developed serious illnesses that caused permanent disability, debilitation, or fatality. Depending upon the severity of the health condition, a responder or survivor may have difficulty carrying out the household tasks they had once performed. Additionally, in the event a claimant passes away, their family may have to hire replacement services in connection with their loved one’s contributions to the household. Accordingly, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund considers replacement services loss as part of an economic loss award in deceased claims, as well as in some personal injury claims.
VCF Replacement Services Loss in Personal Injury Claims
The VCF considers monetary loss incurred in connection with replacement services when calculating a responder or survivor’s economic loss award, in addition to providing monetary recovery for loss of earnings and out-of-pocket medical expenses. However, replacement services loss can be challenging to obtain in a personal injury claim — they are typically only warranted in limited cases where a claimant did not previously earn income or was employed only on a part-time basis outside the home.
A responder or survivor who is seeking replacement services loss must provide a statement to the VCF that describes the following:
- The types of services provided before the 9/11 health condition prevented the claimant from carrying them out
- The amount of time each week or month spent on those services
- The amount of time the claimant can spend on the services now, with the eligible health condition
The VCF also requires a claimant to provide medical records that establish why the services cannot be performed due to the eligible health condition. A Social Security Administration Consent Form must be submitted, even if replacement services loss is the only loss being claimed. This form permits the VCF to gather the necessary information from the Social Security Administration to determine the claimant’s earnings history.
VCF Replacement Services Loss in Deceased Claims
Replacement services loss is commonly considered in VCF deceased claims. If a responder or survivor passed away due to a 9/11-related health condition, the VCF may issue compensation for the value of the household-related tasks they performed during their lifetime. This type of monetary recovery is meant to compensate for tasks the victim used to perform. For instance, the VCF may consider tasks such as cleaning, cooking, home maintenance, child care, repairs, and financial services to issue a replacement services loss award.
To recover compensation for replacement services loss, the victim’s personal representative must provide sufficient documentation in support of the claim. For example, they must include a clear statement that explains the types of services the victim contributed to the household prior to developing and passing away due to their 9/11-related illness. The amount of time the victim spent on the tasks each week or month should also be documented. In addition, medical records should be submitted, establishing the link between the victim’s health condition and inability to carry out the tasks detailed in the claim.
Contact an Experienced 9/11 VCF Attorney
If you are a 9/11 survivor or responder or lost a loved one due to a 9/11-related illness, you may be eligible to file a claim for replacement services loss with the VCF. However, the process associated with filing a claim can be confusing and overwhelming. It is vital to have the representation of a 9/11 VCF attorney who can help ensure that you receive the maximum monetary recovery 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.