After a hard-fought battle, the 9/11 Zadroga Act was reauthorized in 2015. The 9/11 attorneys at Turley, Hansen & Rosasco, LLP actively and proudly assisted the “Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act” in passing this important piece of legislation that provides benefits, treatment, and compensation to the thousands of individuals and families dealing with 9/11-related illnesses and losses. The Reauthorization Act included several changes to the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) program, including changes to how Zadroga Act awards are awarded.
The Reauthorization Act made the following changes to the law:
- The VCF was directed to make full payment on any loss determination that it has already issued – This means that for claimants who received a letter dated on or before December 17, 2015 notifying them of the amount of their loss, the VCF has processed the final payment for the remaining 90% of the loss amount.
- Limited some future award amounts. The Reauthorization Act directed the VCF to make specific changes as to how it calculates loss amounts for certain claimants. This includes limiting the amount of non-economic loss that can be awarded, eliminating claims for future out-of-pocket medical expenses, and capping the computation of economic loss by limiting the annual income level. Caps were placed on the amounts that Group B claimants could receive from the VCF for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. Group B claims are those with award notices dated after December 17, 2015. Specifically, non-economic loss caps for Group B claims are as follows:
- $250,000 for an eligible 9/11 covered cancer (certain cancers will be awarded less than $250,000)
- $90,000 for an eligible non-cancer condition (many non-cancer conditions will be awarded less than $90,000)
- 5-year extension of the VCF. The act extended the VCF for five years from the date the legislation was signed and changed the deadline for filing a claim from the original deadline of October 3, 2016 to the new deadline of December 18, 2020.
- VCF’s funding increased. The Reauthorization Act made the original $2.775 billion appropriation available immediately to pay claims and provided an additional $4.6 billion in funding that became available on October 1, 2016.
Additionally, the Reauthorization Act directed the VCF’s Special Master to prioritize claims for 9/11 victims suffering from the most serious and debilitating conditions. As a result, the VCF has stated that the awards for non-economic losses for such claims “will be at the higher end of the range of awards and non-economic awards for those with much less serious conditions will be at the lower end of the range of awards.”
These changes only reinforce the importance of submitting a complete and detailed 9/11 compensation claim application. The challenge of seeking and obtaining Zadroga Act compensation is one reason why over 80% of all 9/11 victims choose to have a WTC lawyer help them with their claims.
At Turley Hansen & Rosasco, LLP we have been helping survivors, first responders, and recovery workers recover compensation since shortly after the World Trade Center fell. Our extensive experience and deep commitment to 9/11 victims has resulted in the recovery of over $ 100 million in VCF compensation on behalf of over 1,600 clients.
To learn more about filing a claim with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund under the Zadroga Reauthorization Act of 2015, contact Turley Hansen & Rosasco today and request a FREE CLAIM REVIEW with one of our experienced 9/11 lawyers. Call 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636) today. We look forward to assisting you.