Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a Victim Compensation Fund was initially created from December 2001 until June 2004.
The original VCF was limited to victims immediately injured at one of the 9/11 crash sites and the family members of those who died within the first 72 hours after the 9/11 attacks. Although the original VCF closed in 2004, scores of uncovered victims still suffered from cancers and other illnesses that developed after the first 72 hours of the attacks. Therefore, in 2011, President Barack Obama signed the Zadroga Act, re-opening the VCF. Following a re-authorization in 2015, the VCF was set to close at the end of 2020.
This would have denied countless victims who had developed cancers and other illnesses many years after the attacks from obtaining the just compensation they deserved. After an immense public backlash, the United States Congress passed and President Donald J. Trump signed into law on July 29, 2019, the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization Act. This law extends the VCF’s filing deadline until the year 2090 and appropriates such funds necessary to pay all approved claims until that time.
If you or a loved one were present on 9/11 in the New York City Exposure Zone or resided or worked in the disaster area between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002, you may be eligible for a medical evaluation that will determine whether you are suffering from a medical condition covered by the World Trade Center Health Program. If you are afflicted with a covered condition, you will receive a certification and may be eligible for free medical treatment through this program. Furthermore, you may also be eligible to receive compensation from the VCF.
In order to submit a claim to the VCF, you must satisfy several minimum requirements. You must have a certified WTC-related injury. You must demonstrate that you were affected by the attacks of 9/11 in various covered capacities. You must demonstrate your presence in the New York City Exposure Zone between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002. Finally, you must register with vcf.gov by a certain deadline applicable to you.
The VCF issues compensation for “non-economic” damages based upon the type of illness from which you may suffer. The VCF caps “non-economic” damages in the amount of $250,000 for victims suffering from certain types of covered cancers and $90,000 for covered non-cancerous conditions. The VCF covers many types of cancers including bone cancers, digestive system cancers, blood cancers, reproductive cancers, skin cancers, and many others.
The VCF also covers many non-cancerous respiratory injuries, including but not limited to pneumonias, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), obstructive sleep apnea, and many others. Furthermore, the VCF also issues compensation for “economic” damages, which may be the most significant aspect of your VCF claim. “Economic” damages may include, but are not limited to, the loss of your ability to work, both medical and non-medical costs you may have paid out of pocket, and loss of retirement benefits if you can no longer work.
The compensation you may be entitled to receive from the VCF can vary significantly based upon your circumstances. The VCF can provide compensation ranging from only thousands of dollars to millions of dollars to victims in certain circumstances. It is imperative you consult with a skilled attorney to ensure that the VCF properly evaluates your claim and awards you the greatest possible award. Our diligent, compassionate attorneys will work tirelessly to help you receive the just compensation you deserve.
The attorneys of Hill & Moin have dedicated their careers to helping injured victims and are proud to help 9/11 sufferers obtain monetary compensation and medical care. Our attorneys have recovered over $200 Million Dollars in awards and settlements for our injured clients.
If you may have a claim with the VCF or require medical treatment with the World Trade Center Health Program, please contact us our attorneys directly at 212-668-6000.
Our long history of trial and appellate experience allows us to litigate with confidence and success in complicated personal injuries cases. Simply stated, we achieve superlative settlements that change the lives of our clients.
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