If you were a 9/11 responder or survivor, you are undoubtedly well aware of your possible eligibility for benefits from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund [VCF]. However, they could be challenging to comprehend if you are unfamiliar with the VCF’s policies and procedures.
Fortunately, we are here to help you learn more about VCF claims by answering the most common asked questions about VCF claims. You can also contact a World Trade Center lawyer to learn more Let’s explore them.
- Who can file a VCF claim?
The legislation that governs the VCF states that to be eligible for compensation; a victim must have experienced physical suffering or death as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, or the cleanup efforts that followed those events.
- May I still file a claim if I did not register with the VCF?
It’s critical to understand that registering with the VCF and submitting a claim are two distinct procedures. However, you must first register with the VCF to file a claim. You can still register within two years after the latest day the WTC Health Program certified you as having a 9/11 condition, even if the earliest registration deadline was July 29, 2021.
- Am I considered a survivor or a responder?
The VCF divides people who are eligible for benefits into two categories: “responders” and “survivors.” Responders are people who volunteered their time in the hours and days that followed 9/11 to assist with rescue, recovery, and cleanup efforts at Ground Zero and in the NYC Exposure Zone. These comprise personnel from the fire department, police department, emergency medical services, sanitation department, Con-Ed, medical field, jail department, funeral department, etc. Survivors lived, worked, or attended school in downtown Manhattan between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002.
- Is VCF a legal case?
Definitely not. You don’t represent a petition. There are no defendants. The VCF was created to offer financial support to those who suffered physical injuries as a result of being exposed to hazardous materials during the World Trade Center attacks.
- Do I need legal representation to file a VCF claim?
While retaining legal counsel to file a claim with the VCF is unnecessary, doing so has several advantages. Crucially, a lawyer can assist you in navigating the challenging claim-filing procedure by ensuring your documentation is precise and complete, which can avoid delays or claim denials. A lawyer can also help with the critical task of optimizing your settlement.
- How much money can I get back from the VCF?
Every VCF award is different and is determined by how your health before 9/11 impacted your capacity to work and lead a regular life. Payments for non-economic damage are made under the Zadroga Act, but awards for economic loss are contingent on several factors. For a responder or survivor of a non-cancerous sickness, non-economic loss compensation might be anywhere between $10,000 and $90,000. The amount that can be spent on cancer is $250,000.
- How much time would it take for me to get my compensation?
The VCF handles claims in a “first-in, first-out” sequence based on the submission date. Two steps must be included in the examination process for claims: a preliminary review and a substantive review. More complex applications often take longer, even though the VCF aims to provide compensation within a year. Furthermore, if the required paperwork is missing from your claim submission package, there could be more delays.