You have a right to file a 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Appeal if you disagree with a decision of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). For example, you may disagree with how the VCF calculated your award and ask for an increase in monetary compensation. Or you may disagree that the VCF found your proof lacking to establish “eligibility” for any award whatsoever.
Filing an Appeal
When you receive the letter from the VCF with your eligibility or compensation decision, it will include an “appeal form”. If you have a 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorney, you should talk to the attorney immediately to discuss any potential need for a 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund appeal. To appeal the decision on your claim, you must complete and return the appeal form in its entirety within 30 days of the date of the decision letter.
If you appeal, the VCF will send you a letter with your assigned hearing date and time. Hearings are held in a non-adversarial manner. This means that the hearing is informal. The goal of the hearing is to understand why you disagree with the Special Master’s original decision.
Although you will be required to testify under oath, you will not be put in a “witness box” and subjected to “cross-examination”, like a regular court of law. Hearings rarely last more than about one hour.
Your hearing will be conducted by the Special Master or a Hearing Officer appointed by her office. These Hearing Officers are highly qualified individuals who have been trained for 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund proceedings. The objective of the hearing is to give you a chance to present information or evidence that you believe is necessary to support your appeal.
If you are represented by our office, one of our 9/11 lawyers will attend the hearing with you. We will present witnesses, if necessary, including expert witnesses. We do not allow our paralegals to represent you at hearings. If you have a 9/11-related cancer, we will fight to make sure you obtain every penny you deserve.
Turley Hansen offers a “Free Second Opinion” service for claimants who might be unhappy with their 9/11 VCF decision, even if they were represented initially by another law firm. We recently spotted an error from another 9/11 law firm and we were able to increase our client’s award by over $800,000!
If you have questions about appealing a decision from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, please call us at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636).