New York Personal Injury Attorneys
How Long Does it Take to Obtain Aid From the Victim Compensation Fund?
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) was created to provide compensation for individuals or personal representatives of deceased individuals who have been diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness. Here, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. further explain who is eligible for aid from the VCF and how long it takes to obtain aid.
VCF Aid Eligibility
The VCF provides compensation for individuals who were present at the World Trade Center or the surrounding New York City Exposure Zone, the Pentagon crash site or the Shanksville, Pennsylvania crash site at some point between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002 and who have since developed and been diagnosed with a 9/11 related illness. The VCF also provides compensation for families of deceased individuals who were diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness.
The VCF is not limited to first responders. Those who worked or volunteered in construction, clean-up and debris removal as well as individuals who lived, worked or went to school in the Exposure Zone are also eligible for compensation.
Timeframe to Receive Compensation
When the VCF reviews a claim, they will see if the claimant provided the required documents and forms. If anything is missing or insufficient, the VCF will send a missing information letter and place the claim in “inactive” status. If the requested documents are not submitted within 60 days of the date of the missing information letter, the claim may be denied. To avoid delays caused by an inactive claim, it is important that all paperwork and documents are filed completely and that you provide the proper information when filing your claim. An experienced law firm ensures you will file a complete claim.
The VCF generally prioritizes claims on the basis of when they received them. The VCF is working to shorten the time frame needed to decide a claim. The most current status of claims in review can be found on the VCF’s FAQ page.
It is important to remember that each VCF claim is individually evaluated and awards are calculated based on specific facts unique to the individual. Some of the more complex claims take significantly longer to review and receive an award decision, especially claims filed for victims who died of a 9/11-related condition.
Once the VCF begins the review process, they will contact you if any additional information is needed. They advise that the best way to expedite the review of a claim is to respond promptly to any request.
Expedited Review Process
In cases involving terminal illness or significant financial hardship, an individual and their attorney can request that the VCF expedite the processing of a claim. The VCF considers “significant financial hardship” to include an imminent or pending foreclosure or eviction proceeding, utility cut off or other similar circumstances. The VCF considers terminal illness to mean death is imminent. Proper documentation must be provided. See this recent VCF advisory here.
In the instance of an expedited claim, the VCF will review the claim and notify whether the request was granted or denied, typically within 48 hours. For claims that have been granted the expedition process, the VCF is often able to process the claim, issue the award and process the payment in as little as 3-4 weeks. In these instances, payment on the claim is issued as soon as the award letter is sent, yet individuals retain the right to appeal within the 30-day period.
File a Claim with a VCF Lawyer at SPBMCC
The process of filing any claim can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with something as complex as the VCF. It is important that you consult with an experienced legal team who has been successful in the past with fighting for 9/11 victims. After the September 11th attacks, our team at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C. had the honor of representing 363 firefighters and families of deceased firefighters in the original VCF. To date, our team has recovered over one billion dollars for our VCF clients, including the largest single award of $4.133 million. Our experienced team would be honored to represent your VCF claim.
To learn more about our work with 9/11-related illness claims, click here. Call (212)-732-9000 today for your free consultation, or fill out the form below.