Posted Nov 27, 2013 by Turley, Hansen & Rosasco on First Responders
VCF Special Master Sheila Birnbaum recently published her annual report on the overall performance of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund over the past year. The report included a summary of key second year activities as well as filed claims statistics and administrative costs.
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund has made much progress by partnering with advocates and elected officials in reaching out to the 9/11 community about the October 3, 2013 registration deadline. Due to the advocacy and outreach, the effort resulted in the large growth of VCF participants as the deadline closed in. Registrations grew from 19, 733 in June to 48,248 by the deadline.
The VCF anticipated that some people may have had trouble with completing the registration process before the deadline date, so they made an interim form available. Anyone who submitted this form via letter, email or fax, was able to protect their right to file a future claim. These individuals were advised that they must still complete the registration process when filing a claim in the future. As of October 31, 2013, statistics show that the majority of Claimants fell into the category of “Responder” with a total count of 39, 578. The chart below taken from the report breaks down each individual Claimant type.
The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund also made great strides in working with third parties in order to obtain information needed for Claimants’ cases. For example, the VCF has partnered with the FDNY, NYPD, and NYCERS. They can now work directly with thesee organizations on behalf of the Claimant to help determine eligibility and compensation.
One extremely important factor in a Claimant’s case is having the illnesses certified as 9/11 related by The World Trade Center Health Program which is run by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). For claimants who were not registered with the World Trade Center Health Program, certification was becoming an obstacle. To speed up the certification process, both NIOSH and the VCF implemented an easier and more comprehensive form in which private physicians can fill out basic information about the Claimant’s treatment. Once the forms are completed and submitted to the VCF, they are then reviewed by a contracted independent physician before sending to NIOSH for certification. It is still recommended that the best and fastest way to get certification of your illnesses is directly through the World Trade Center Health Program.
The report also states that most registrants still have not submitted eligibility and compensation forms. The deadline to submit eligibility and compensation forms in its entirety is October 3, 2016. Should you need help filing a 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund claim, please feel free to call, click the chat button or request to be contacted at the top of this page.