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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

The History of the VCF (Victim Compensation Fund)

May 21, 2021 in

The Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) provides compensation to victims of 9/11 and their loved ones. Since its inception, the VCF has helped thousands of individuals and families obtain the financial assistance they need to recover from the tragic events of September 11, 2001.


Our team of VCF lawyers at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. have a history of obtaining successful awards for victims of 9/11-related conditions and illnesses, as well as families representing loved ones whose lives were taken on that infamous day. Below, our experienced VCF attorneys outline the history of the VCF’s formation, who is qualified to receive compensation and how our team of attorneys can help you navigate the complex process of submitting your claim.


The Federal Government Employed The Original Victim Compensation Fund From 2001-2004.


The United States Congress enacted the original Victim Compensation Fund (then called VCF1) in the wake of 9/11. Its purpose was to ease the financial and emotional strains of family members who lost a loved one in the terrorist attacks. Additional individuals who were eligible to file a VCF claim were those who became injured or fell ill as a direct result of the terrorist attacks, first responders, World Trade Center workers and individuals living in the Lower Manhattan area who were no longer able to work. The VCF1 lasted from 2001 to 2004.


The Zadroga Act Reopened the VCF With Broadened Eligibility 


In 2011, Congress passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The Act was passed because 9/11’s acute aftermath was still lingering in the form of illnesses such as respiratory disease and lung cancers. First responders, debris removal crew members and individuals living in close proximity to Ground Zero now found themselves suffering from illnesses directly linked to the toxic, carcinogen-laden debris that permeated the air for five months succeeding the terrorist attacks. 


The Zadroga Act, named after the late New York police detective James Zadroga, who passed away from a 9/11-related respiratory illness, officially reopened the VCF with increased eligibility requirements for claimants and new filing deadlines. The Zadroga Act also provided health benefits to victims. 


Zadroga Act Deadline Extended to 2020


The Zadroga Act was reinstated in 2015 just as it was about to expire, which extended health benefits for victims of 9/11-related illnesses another 75 years. The deadline was pushed to December 19, 2020, with total funding increased to $7.375 billion. This granted victims five years to file a claim. 


The reauthorized Zadroga Act also capped the non-economic loss that resulted from cancer at $250,000, and the non-economic loss that were not cancer-related at $90,000. The VCF’s new requirements also removed the $10,000 minimum award and capped the Annual Gross Income (“AGI”) at $200,000 for each year of loss.


VCF Deadline Extended to 2090 as a Result of the Never Forget the Heroes Act


The Never Forget The Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was passed in 2019, significantly extending the claimant filing deadline to October 1, 2090. This final extension ensures each and every victim of a 9/11-related illness or injury receives the financial compensation they need. Billions of dollars were added to the VCF to benefit eligible claimants.


The VCF Lawyers at SPBMCC Have Obtained Millions of Dollars for 9/11 Victims


As of December 31, 2019, the VCF has granted awards to 25,649 victims of 9/11-related conditions—a collective financial total of more than $5.96 billion. As VCF lawyers who have helped our clients obtain compensation since the fund’s inception, we have successfully represented over 3,000 claimants and recovered over $1 billion for our VCF clients. Our legal counsel has also helped over 300 victims receive VCF awards of more than $1 million dollars. 


While the new VCF’s deadline and funding accommodates nearly every eligible claimant who suffers a 9/11-related illness, the filing process can be complicated and requires extensive documentation showing proof of injury or illness. Additionally, there are many potential claimants that simply do not know that they could be eligible. By working with a member of our skilled and determined VCF lawyers, who are passionate about fighting for 9/11 victims and their families, you are ensuring the most successful outcome possible for your claim. 


We have a proven track record representing victims of 9/11’s aftermath. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with a respiratory illness, lung cancer or other 9/11-related condition as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, contact our VCF team here or call 212-732-9000 today.

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