Here are the main take-aways:
- The Good News! – The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund has made substantial progress making decisions on the oldest claims. As of the end of 2016, almost 2,500 VCF compensation claims were awaiting a decision where the request for compensation had been made in 2015 or earlier. Since then, approximately 35% (or 875) have been decided. That is an amazing increase in the Fund’s productivity while not sacrificing quality. One of the most common questions my clients ask me is “why does it take so long to get a 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund decision?” (see video here). Many clients with complex claims that are fully submitted have been patiently waiting for several years. I am happy to report that our new full time Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya hit the ground running last year and has increased staff and this is the primary reason for the substantial progress on the older claims. The Special Master predicts that all claims that were fully submitted in 2015 should receive award determinations by the end of 2017. This compensation will obviously help many of our clients and their families.
- In addition, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund is in the process of establishing new policies and procedures for all claims going forward that will help claims be decided faster, fairly and more accurately. That would be a godsend to all the first responders and victims who are very sick.
- To date, the total dollar value of all Victim Compensation Fund decisions rendered equals approximately $2.48 billion dollars.
- Over 80% of all VCF compensation awards to date have been made to New York City first responders. The overwhelming majority of these decisions have been for personal injury claims as opposed to death claims.
- A total of 3,116 decisions have been made on appeals or amended claims. Both 9/11 VCF appeals and amendments are growing rapidly, and the Special Master is hiring additional hearing officers in the New York City office to handle the increase in appeals and amendments.
As always, should you have any questions about the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), please call us at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636).