Several attacks on the United States were made simultaneously on September 11, 2001, making it one of the most significant dates in its recent history. Almost three thousand people perished, while several thousand others were injured and continue to suffer from the aftermath of these incidents.
Victims of the attacks on New York’s World Trade Center (WTC), Washington DC’s The Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, are covered by the Victims Compensation Fund (VCF). The law, signed shortly after the incidents, has gone through a few revisions. In 2019, the VCF Permanent Authorization Act extended the application filing from 2020 to October 1, 2090, and mandated the agency to allocate enough payout funds.
It is highly recommended that eligible applicants file their claims as early as possible. But those who have yet to take the first step must prepare the requirements for a more seamless experience. This article discusses the primary documents you may need for your VCF application.
Documents Needed For Personal Injury Filing
Personal injury victims refer to persons who have been diagnosed with physical injuries and other conditions caused by the September 11 attacks. All VCF applications are thoroughly screened before approval. Thus, it’s crucial that a claimant submits the required documents and provides complete information. It might be helpful to consult with 9/11 VCF lawyers for assistance in some cases.
This type of claim covers persons present at the New York Exposure Zone and Crash Site Areas from September 11, 2001, until May 30, 2002. Besides the WTC, ground zero also refers to the Manhattan’s downtown area, with boundaries in Canal and Clinton Streets and Hudson and the East Rivers. Crash site areas include the immediate vicinity of the crashes in the Pentagon and Shanksville.
Victims can self-file or apply on behalf of a deceased individual whose death is related to the attack. An applicant may also file to represent an incapacitated 9/11 victim.
- WTC Health Program (WTCHP) Certification: It is the agency tasked with handling health issues, while VCF is in-charge of 9/11 victim payouts. Applicants must obtain their health condition certification before filing a claim.
- Claim Form: This document must provide complete information and justify why you qualify for the program.
- The Claim Form Signature Page: This paper allows the fund to coordinate with other private and government institutions to certify your claim. By affixing your signature on this form, you are waiving your right to file a 9/11-related personal injury lawsuit for the losses you sustained.
- Signed Exhibit A or Authorization for Release of Medical Records: This document authorizes the VCF to connect with WTCHP to review and validate the victim’s health situation and diagnosis.
- Proof of Presence: The government has identified the New York Exposure Zone and Crash Site Areas and an applicant must show proof of presence in these areas within the required period.
- Automatic Clearing House (ACH) authorization form: An ACH payment form is a legal document that discusses payment conditions for banking transactions covered by the network. If a victim prefers to be paid through their attorney, a VCF Client Authorization Form must be submitted instead.
- (Optional) Exhibit 1 –Social Security Administration Consent Form: This is an additional document requirement for victims claiming settlements other than non-economic losses
Document Checklist For Deceased Claim
Victims who died during the 9/11 attacks or perished years later due to specific injuries and health issues can claim this benefit. However, the documents needed are more complex than the papers required for 9/11 personal injury claims. These include:
- Claim Form;
- Signature Page;
- Authentic or certified copy of the Court Order or Letters of Administration indicating your appointment as the Estate Administrator, Will Executor, or Personal Representative of the deceased;
- The victim’s death certificate showing the cause of death;
- Exhibit A – Authorization for Release of Medical Records;
- Proof of Presence in Exposure Zones or Crash Site Areas;
- Life insurance information;
- Automatic Clearing House (ACH) authorization form;
- (Optional) Exhibit 1 or Social Security Administration Consent Form for applicants claiming other types of losses.
How To File A VCF Claim
Note that the VCF may ask for additional documents other than those listed above. However, the main processes remain the same. First, you can register online through the VCF website or call the office for more information. Second, you have to approach the nearest WTCHP office to certify your health condition if you apply for a personal injury claim. Lastly, you will have to file your application and submit the required documents on or before the due date.
Preparing the minimum required documents will help new VCF applicants experience fewer snags during the entire process. This article only discusses the essential documents you need to prepare for both types of claims. The Fund may ask for additional paper depending on the nature of your claim. Additionally, changes and updates may take effect in the future, so check the VCF website regularly or hire a VCF lawyer for advice and guidance.