September 11, 2001 is a tragically memorable day for several people in New York City as terrorist-related aircraft hit the World Trade Center (WTC) twin towers, killing approximately 3,000 people.
Later that year, the Congress of the United States established the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) to aid the victim’s families and survivors of the 9/11 attacks. Besides helping the individuals directly affected by the attacks, the funding was to shun filing lawsuits against security companies, the government itself, and the airlines involved.
Initially, the fund didn’t compensate the first injured respondents, plus those who experienced trauma from the attack. However, in 2011, the James Zadroga 9/11 compensation fund was launched and opened. It had slightly different policies, which made it easier for all first responders to get compensation. Thus, currently, responders, victims, and all the people who lost their lives during the attack are eligible to get the victim compensation fund. Moreover, the WTC Victim Fund covers various illnesses certified by the WTC Health Program. This includes, but not limited to, lung diseases, sleep apnea, back pain, and certain types of cancer.
Here’s a detailed explanation of how the fund-claiming process works:
1. Register With The Victim Compensation Fund
The first step before you can claim any compensation is registering with the VCF. Registration means that you can easily file your claim whenever you’re ready and there are no legal rights that you’ve acquired.
It’s essential to realize that registration doesn’t compel you to file a claim. It only gives you the upper hand in getting the claim processed quickly. Registration serves as an alert to the stakeholders involved that you’re the potential to claiming for compensation. Thus, the chances are low that you’ll experience delays.
You don’t have to be sick or diagnosed with a 9/11-related medical condition to be eligible for registration. You can register if you need to as long as you do it before the deadline. It’s essential to realize that the deadlines vary from individual to the next. Ideally, it depends on the type of the claim and why the person is registering.
2. Get Certified By The WTC Health Program
The WTC Health Program is in charge of monitoring and providing treatment of 9/11-related conditions for responders and survivors. They have a website that lists all eligible conditions and processes, in which you can register separately. However, keep in mind that registering from the WTC Health Program doesn’t mean you’re registered for the VCF, as these are two separate programs.
In case of a medical condition, you’ll have to wait for WTC Health Program to diagnose and certify it as 9/11-related disease.
3. File Your Claim Before The Deadline
The deadline for filing the Victim Compensation Fund was extended to October 1, 2090. You’d want to claim your file after the WTC has reviewed and determined the total amount of losses they’re supposed to compensate based on the documents submitted. This will help them review your claim as fast as they can; thus, you won’t wait for so long before getting reimbursed.
There are different types of claims that you can register, which includes:
- Personal Injury Claims: It’s mandatory for you to register this claim within the first two years after the state government corporation, like the WTC health program, informs you that your health condition is 9/11 related. The two years are counted from when you received the certification or confirmation. Hence, it’s essential that you don’t wait for so long, lest you forget and the two years elapse.
If WTC doesn’t certify you, the other corporation that’ll ascertain your eligibility for the fund is the New York Workers Compensation Board or any corporation responsible for a New Yorker like NYPD pension. They also give a two-year registration period which starts from the date they’ll certify that you have a 9/11-related health condition.
- Deceased Claim: If you registered the personal injury claim on time, you’re considered to have automatically registered for the deceased share on time. If you didn’t register the personal injury claim on time, then you can register for this one within two years after:
- The death of the victim
- The day when VCF stakeholders confirmed that the deceased died due to a 9/11-related medical condition.
It’s essential to have a lawyer to guide you through this process. Hence, it’s best to hire the right lawyer who knows the process to help you get the right VCF compensation.
The victim compensation fund aims to reimburse the responders, victims, and individuals related to those who died due to conditions associated with the 9/11 attack. To get the compensation, it’s essential that you first register for the claim type of your choice and then file for the claim. That way, it’ll be easier for Victim Compensation Fund to confirm your losses’ scope and compensate you accordingly.