How To File A Claim With The 9/11 Victim Fund
If you were injured or a loved one was either injured or killed as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, you’re entitled to compensation. The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has made this possible.
What Is The 9/11 VCF?
The signing into law of H.R. 1327—also known as the ‘Never Forget the Heroes, James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act’—in July 2019 has led to the funding of the VCF. The passage of this legislation is a tribute to the first responders, veterans, and activists who diligently fought to make it happen.
This law also expanded the lawsuit filing date to October 1, 2090. Beyond this period, no additional applications or paperwork will be considered, though pending claims will continue to be processed as is. If you need assistance in filing claims or appealing a claim denial, there are lawyers like those from wtcvictimfund.com who can help you.
VCF seeks to reward those who were present (or their family member should the person be deceased) between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002 in these areas:
- The Shanksville, Pennsylvania crash site
- The Pentagon crash site
- New York City Exposure Zone
- World Trade Center (WTC)
The Registration Process
The VCF is open to all who are eligible, not just first responders. Many workers and volunteers who handled cleanup, renovation, or debris collection and those who stayed, worked, or went to school within the exposure zone may receive compensation.
Getting the benefits provided under this law requires a specific claim process. Though not required, some look for the right lawyer to assist them.
These are the steps to registering with the VCF so you can claim your compensation:
1) Prepare All The Requirements
To apply for the VCF, you must send a set of documents, which will be determined by the nature of your injury or disease. Most people need to provide the following:
- Signed Claim Form
- Automated Clearing House (ACH) Payment Information Form or payment authorization issued by your lawyer
- Proof of injury
- Non-economic loss as indicated in an impact statement and medical reports
- Authorization for release of medical records
- Proof of presence at a 9/11 crash site between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002 (proof of residence, employer records, etc.)
- Additional documentation may be necessary if you're filing a compensation claim:
- For loss of past earnings
- For loss of future earnings or collateral source payments
- For replacement services
- As the guardian or representative of the victim filing
2) Register Within The Deadline
You must have registered with the VCF by your assigned application or registration deadline. Remember that everyone has a different registration deadline depending on their condition.
3) Wait For Approval
While you can register with the VCF until the WTC Health Program certifies your diagnosis, you can only file your claim after it’s been approved.
The Claim Process
While the registration deadline varies depending on your condition, everyone has the same deadline to file a claim: October 1, 2090. Aside from that, it’s essential to know that the September 11th VCF has a limited amount of funding. Compensation awards are currently distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, with no proposals to increase the funding.
You must complete a claim form, submit some paperwork, and answer questions to explain why you're entitled to VCF compensation. Questions may also have to do with the type of payment you're looking for.
Remember that before filing a claim, your diagnosis or medical condition should’ve already been certified. Afterward, you may proceed to these steps:
1) Sign in to your account if you’ve already set one up in the online claims management system (CMS). You may use the online CMS if you've registered with the VCF and obtained your claim number. If you don't have access to your online claim, it’s easy to create an account through the VCF website. The system is the best way to verify the status of your petition, access VCF correspondence, and change your contact and/or solicitor records. You may also upload documentation or file an amendment to a previously filed claim.
2) Complete and submit the claim form along with the necessary supporting documents after you've been approved by the WTC Wellness Program. Some of the documents are the following:
- Authorization for medical records release: This enables the VCF to request information about your approved condition directly from the WTC Health Program(s).
- Proof of presence: This includes all evidence demonstrating that you were present at a 9/11 crash scene, in the NYC Exposure Zone, or in the debris collection routes between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002.
- Signature page: This helps the VCF obtain evidence from other sources such as your workplace or union to validate your claim. Your signature also acknowledges that you realize that by making a petition with the VCF, you’re giving up the right to sue for damages related to your 9/11 injury.
Many of those who were in the locations specified earlier have been diagnosed with 9/11-related illnesses. Such diseases are believed to have been brought by exposure to toxic dust and trauma. Published 9/11 diseases include cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, respiratory disease, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety disorder. Those conditions may require extensive medical care, so if you’re qualified to receive VCF compensation, register and file your claim as soon as possible.
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