9/11 Victim Compensation Fund

No amount of money will ever compensate for the many tragedies stemming from the events of September 11, 2001. The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund is an attempt to help ease the burden for those who were injured or became ill in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks.

The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, also known as the VCF, which is shorthand for the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, was created by the federal government in 2002 to help the families of the people who died in the attacks, as well as the first responders, World Trade Center workers, and Lower Manhattan residents who could no longer work because of 9/11-related illnesses.

The original fund expired in 2003. As time went on, however, it became clear that the World Trade Center disaster was responsible for a number of illnesses – such as cancers and respiratory disorders – that took years to develop.

In 2010, Congress passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which revived the Victim Compensation Fund and provided health benefits to help those continuing to suffer from the physical aftereffects of the attacks. President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law on January 2, 2011. The new law was named for James Zadroga, a New York police detective who spent 450 hours working at Ground Zero and died five years later from respiratory illnesses caused by dust he inhaled at the scene.

In December 2015, the Zadroga act was reauthorized, extending health benefits another 75 years and adding another five years to the life of the Victim Compensation Fund.