On September 11, 2001, the world changed forever. Nineteen terrorists hijacked four planes and crashed two planes into the Twin Towers in New York City, another plane into the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and the fourth into a field in Pennsylvania. This terrorist attack resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people, which led to the USA setting significant initiatives to fight terrorism.
In response to this tragedy, Congress established the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) to provide financial assistance to those injured or lost loved ones due to the attacks. The first batch of the compensation fund ran between 2001 to 2004 and distributed over USD$7 billion. On January 2, 2011, The Zadroga Act was signed, and this reactivated the VCF and provided an additional USD$2.775 billion. The VCF reopened on October 3, 2011, and claims were processed and paid out until December 31, 2016.
On July 29, 2019, the VCF Permanent Authorization Act was signed into law, extending the compensation until October 1, 2090. You can check on further resources to understand what comes with the compensation. If you’re wondering about the eligibility of the compensation fund, here’s a guide:
You are eligible for compensation if you:
- Register with the compensation fund before the deadline that applies to your circumstances and submit a complete claim of the compensation no later than October 1, 2090.
- If you have any 9/11-related lawsuits, you should have withdrawn, settled, or dismissed the lawsuits before the appropriate deadlines.
- Show that any injury or condition has worsened since September 11, 2001, due to your 9/11 exposure after receiving the original VCF1 compensation. You are also eligible if you can show any physical injury that may have been caused by the 9/11 terrorist attacks and wasn’t compensated.
- Have physical evidence to support your injuries or conditions. If you are a first responder, you must provide certification from WTC Health Program or CDC’s World Trade Center Health Registry that you have been diagnosed with a 9/11-related health condition. If you are not a first responder, you must provide a written statement from a licensed physician diagnosing you with a 9/11-related health condition.
- Prove that you were present at any of the following locations during the 9/11 terrorist attacks:- The World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and its immediate surrounding area, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, or the New York Exposure zone and the routes of debris removal from September 11, 2001, to May 30, 2002.
- Show that you have the legal authority to file for compensation on behalf of a victim, such as a Personal Representative for a deceased victim. You may need to provide documents such as the victim’s death certificate, Letters of Administration, proof of the victim’s cause of death, or a complete claim form signature page.
If you meet any of these requirements, you can file for compensation.
Deadlines For Registration And Filing Claims
The two important dates for the compensation fund are the registration deadline and the claim filing deadline.
The registration for the compensation fund preserves your right to file a claim. If you don’t register, then you give up your right to file for compensation. The registration deadline depends on your circumstance during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Here is a breakdown of the registration deadline:
Any personal injury or deceased claim filed on or before July 29, 2021, will be considered already filed. You can then file a claim, which will be considered filed on time.
If the deceased had previously filed a personal injury claim, it would be considered filed on time. If the deceased did not file a personal injury claim, then the Personal Representative has two years from the date of death or after the VCF verifies the condition that caused the death to register the claim.
Personal Injury Claim
For a personal injury claim, you should file within two years of your 9/11-related diagnosis or after the VCF verifies the condition. The two years will be counted based on the following conditions:
- The two years are counted from the date of the most recent certification by the WTC Health Program.
- The two years will be counted when New York Workers’ Compensation Board or any other New York City employer pension funds determines that you are eligible even if you aren’t certified by WTC Health Program.
- You can file anytime if you are not certified by WTC Health Program or have any determination to be met.
Claim Filing Deadline
After implementing The VCF Permanent Authorization Act, the claim filing deadline is now October 1, 2090. It means that you can file for compensation as long as you register your claim before this date. However, you’re advised to file a claim as soon as you’re certified by the WTC Health Program to have your claim processed on time.
Groups Eligible For The Compensation Funds
There are several groups of people who can still file for compensation funds. If you fall under this category, then you can file a claim:
Many general respondents, such as police officers, firefighters, and EMTs, responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. These first responders were exposed to harmful toxins and debris, which caused many respiratory problems and other health conditions. If you’re a first responder, you may still be eligible to file for compensation.
Survivors, Such As Workers And Students
Many people survived the terrorist attacks. These people may have been working in the Twin Towers or nearby buildings. They include Downtown Manhattan workers, Wall Street workers, those living around New York, teachers, and students in Downtown Manhattan.
Family Members Of The Victims
If your family member was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, you might be eligible for compensation. It includes the victim’s spouse, child, parent, or sibling.
The 9/11 attack is a sad moment in human history. Many people lost their lives, and many more were injured. If you or your family member were affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, you might still be eligible for compensation from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Check this guide on what qualifies you to be eligible for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
If you are unsure of how to start the process or have any questions, you can always seek the help of a 9/11 compensation lawyer. These lawyers will help guide you through the process and increase your chances of being compensated.