Could You Be Eligible For Money From The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)?

Published on August 17, 2022, 10:43 am
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No one will ever forget the tragic events that occurred on 9/11, not least the people who were directly affected.

In addition to the 2,750 victims who died in the initial attacks at the World Trade Center site, many people who were exposed to the harmful dust that the collapse of the twin towers caused later died or became seriously ill.

If you suffered physical harm, or you are a personal representative of someone who died in the terrorist attack, you may at least be eligible for compensation via the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which is more commonly known as the VCF.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for an award from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. 

The criteria are as follows.

You Must Register by the Deadline

You must register by the VCF deadline in order to be eligible for compensation through the fund.

Updates to the law mean the deadline has now been extended to October 1, 2090, so meeting the deadline will not be a problem.

Also, any 9/11-related lawsuits must be settled, withdrawn, or dismissed by that given deadline.

You Must Prove You Have a 9/11-related Injury or Condition

To receive compensation, you must prove that you have a physical injury or health condition that is related to 9/11.

To prove that, your injury, illness, or other condition must be certified for treatment by the World Trade Center Health Program.

Though, sometimes, you can be eligible if your injury or condition was treated by a private doctor and verified as being related to 9/11 via the Victim Compensation Fund’s Private Physician process.

You Must Show You Were Present at the Attack Sites

Regardless of whether the 9/11 attack happened as stated or whether other theories are true, you will need to demonstrate that you were present at one of the attack sites, within the Exposure Zone of New York City, or along the routes where the debris removal took place, between the dates of September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002.

You May Need to Prove Your Health Condition Has Worsened

The VCF has gone through several changes over the years.

So, if you previously received an award from the original 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund that ran between 2001 and 2004, which is commonly known as VCF1, to receive compensation from the latest version of the fund, you must prove that your injury or condition has substantially worsened.

Alternatively, you may have developed a further injury or condition that you were unaware of at the time. If that is the case, you will need to prove that the injury or condition is 9/11-related. You will also need to prove that you have not already been compensated for that injury or health condition.

You Will Need Legal Authorization if You Are Claiming on Behalf of a Victim

Lastly, if you are filing a claim on behalf of a victim, you will need to prove that you have the legal authority to do so.

How Long Does the VCF Take to Decide a Claim?

It currently takes about two years for the VCF to make an award to eligible people once their applications have been submitted.

That can feel like a long time, especially if you have medical bills mounting up.

However, your 9/11 VCF claim can take a lot less time if you hire a lawyer who works exclusively with 9/11 claims, as he or she will know the legal process and can avoid bureaucratic pitfalls that can often delay eligible applicants receiving the benefits that they deserve.

Summing Up

If you have a 9/11-related injury or condition, you could be eligible for compensation via the VCF.

Just make sure you carefully look through the eligibility criteria before you apply.

It could also be helpful to get advice from a lawyer before you apply to find out more about your options and to help speed up the process.

Jonas Bronck is the pseudonym under which we publish and manage the content and operations of The Bronx Daily.™ | - the largest daily news publication in the borough of "the" Bronx with over 1.5 million annual readers. Publishing under the alias Jonas Bronck is our humble way of paying tribute to the person, whose name lives on in the name of our beloved borough.