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VCF Registration Deadline for Wrongful Death Claims

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As the July 29, 2021 September 11th Victim Compensation Fund registration deadline rapidly approaches, it is crucial for responders, survivors, and their families to be aware of the timeliness policies applicable to their claims. The VCF allows the personal representative of a deceased victim’s estate to bring a claim for compensation in the event that they passed away due to a 9/11-related health condition. However, it is important to understand the time frames that apply in filing a deceased claim — despite the strict registration deadline for personal injury claims, deceased claims have their own timeliness requirements.  

What are the VCF’s Timeliness Policies for Registering a Deceased Claim?

Recently, the Special Master advised that the July 29, 2021 registration deadline will not be extended. Critically, this cutoff date does not apply to deceased claims. Rather, the VCF has recently changed the policy for filing deceased claims to make it similar to the personal injury claim filing deadline.

Consistent with the statutory language requiring a VCF claim to be filed within two years of being diagnosed with an eligible 9/11-related health condition, a deceased claim must be filed within two years of the latest date:

  • The date the 9/11 health condition that caused the death was certified by the WTC Health Program, or
  • The date of the victim’s passing, or
  • The date the 9/11 illness was found eligible by the VCF, if it was not certified.

In sum, if the deceased individual didn’t receive a WTC Health Program certification letter listing the condition that caused their death, and didn’t submit a claim to the VCF prior to their death, there is no registration deadline. Additionally, if a victim timely registered a personal injury claim before their death, a deceased claim will be considered timely — regardless of the date of registration.  

What is the VCF’s Claim Filing Deadline for a Deceased Claim?

Not to be confused with the VCF’s registration deadline, the cutoff date to file a claim is separate. Unlike the registration deadline, which is different depending on each claimant’s individual circumstances, the VCF claim filing deadline is the same for everyone pursuant to the VCF Permanent Authorization Act — October 1, 2090. Significantly, you must first timely register with the VCF in order to submit a claim for compensation.

Compensation in VCF Deceased Claims

A VCF deceased claim can be filed by a personal representative on behalf of an eligible 9/11-responder or survivor who passed away from their 9/11-related health condition. A VCF deceased claim has two parts: the victim’s personal injury award and the wrongful death award.

A VCF personal injury award in a deceased claim is meant to compensate the responder or survivor for their losses in connection with their 9/11 cancer or illness. The wrongful death award compensates the victim’s family for the loss of their loved one — this also includes the economic losses the family may have suffered in connection with the victim’s lost earnings and pension benefits incurred as a result of their 9/11 health condition. Non-economic loss in a VCF deceased claim may be awarded in the amount of $250,000 on behalf of the victim and $100,000 to the spouse and each dependent.

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

If you lost a loved one due to a 9/11-related cancer, illness, or health condition, you may be entitled to monetary compensation from the VCF. But it’s vital to be aware of the applicable deadlines and requirements involved with filing a claim. A skilled 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorney can guide you through the registration and claim filing process to help ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.

The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorneys at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. have more than a decade of experience assisting claimants and their families in filing VCF claims. For a free consultation, contact us today.

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