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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

New VCF Directive Allows Families of 9/11 Responders, Residents, and Office Workers Who Die of COVID-19 to File a Claim

November 5, 2020 in ,

In early September, a new VCF directive was announced that would likely allow families of individuals who suffered from a 9/11-related illness, and then passed away from COVID-19, to file a claim under the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), according to an article in the New York Post. Firm Senior Partner Nick Papain was featured in the article and speaks to this momentous directive and how it can potentially provide compensation to families who lost their at-risk loved ones to the novel coronavirus.


The VCF Decrees a New Directive Allowing Further Investigation into Cause of Death


In response to a Frequently Asked Question on the VCF website, the directive announced that, if a 9/11-related illness was listed as the cause of death on one’s death certificate, then the VCF will likely award wrongful death compensation as part of the VCF guidelines. The 9/11 related illness must fall under one of three categories:

  • Immediate cause of death,
  • Underlying causes of death, and
  • Significant conditions contributing to death.

However, if a VCF-eligible condition is not listed as the cause of death, then the VCF will require further medical evidence that points to a VCF-eligible condition being linked to their passing. In other words, the new directive will require additional investigation that goes further and below the surface-level causes of death in order to determine whether or not a 9/11-related condition contributed to one’s cause of death. Even if a condition like COVID-19 was listed as the immediate or primary cause of death as long as the underlying condition is a 9/11 injury, the family may be compensated for wrongful death

The VCF reviews each claim on an individual basis and circumstances may vary per case. You can view the full Frequently Asked Questions page where the VCF outlines their new directive here:


Firm Partner Nick Papain Speaks to the Directive and Dangers of COVID-19 for 9/11 Responders 


On September 10th, SPBMCC Partner Nicholas Papain stated at a press conference, “This [COVID-19] is something that is particularly of concern to our 9/11 first responders and survivors.” He continues by saying, “Not only are they suffering from an illness—cancer, a digestive illness, a respiratory illness—that makes them more susceptible to these deadly symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, but more than half of these 100,000-plus survivors are over the age of 55, which as we all know, is another factor that makes one more susceptible to the deadly consequences of the coronavirus.”

Regarding the new VCF directive, Papain stated, “What the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund stated two days ago was that the mere fact that someone dies on the surface, at least from COVID-19, it does not stop the inquiry as to whether or not their 9/11 illness played a significant part in their passing.”

To read the full article published in the New York Post, click here.


Consult the New York VCF Attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C.


COVID-19 only exacerbates their fear and uncertainty that many at-risk 9/11 responders already feel, and it may increase their chances of becoming ill due to their preexisting conditions. The New York VCF attorneys Wendell Tong, Ina Pecani, Beth Jablon, Jessica Denninger, Roger Frankel, and Connor Hopkins at SPBMCC are passionate about seeking justice for 9/11 responders who now suffer from a 9/11-related illness. Our firm represents more than 3,000 New York residents with 9/11-related illnesses and have recovered more than one billion dollars for our clients. To consult our team of New York VCF attorneys for an evaluation of your claim, contact us today at

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