Since its establishment, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has received and processed thousands of claims. Given the large volume of VCF claims and the detailed review and analysis involved in processing and approving them, it can often take a long time before any compensation (or denial) gets in the hands of a 9/11 victim, first responder, or recovery worker.
After you submit your claim, reviewers will begin the process of evaluating your application, including all supporting documents. If your application is missing required information or documentation, the VCF will ask you to provide it before they will proceed with their review. Incomplete or improperly supported claim applications will only further delay an already lengthy process. Reducing delays caused by incomplete applications is just one or many reasons that over 80% of claimants applying for VCF compensation choose to be represented by an 9/11 lawyer.
VCF claims are reviewed in the order in which they were submitted — “first in, first out.” On March 13, 2017, the VCF Special Master issued a statement in which she discussed the fund’s claim processing history and listed its processing goals for 2017. The Special Master’s statement noted that:
- In 2016, the VCF enhanced its staffing, reinforced its partnerships, implemented a priority system for deciding claims, and paid full compensation to more than 9,000 Group A claimants and nearly 2,500 Group B claimants totaling nearly $2.27 billion (including more than 800 of the oldest claims submitted).
- The VCF’s priority in 2017 remains the processing of claims, continuing to focus on issuing determinations on the oldest claims first.
- As of December 31, 2016, more than 3,200 compensation claims are currently in review where eligibility has been approved. Another 2,700 are awaiting eligibility review prior to beginning compensation review. Of these, nearly 2,500 had compensation submitted in 2015 or earlier. These 2,500 claims are the VCF’s next priority.
- The fund’s focus in the coming year is on reducing the length of time it takes to render a decision on a claim once the claim form and all required supporting documents are submitted.
Those with urgent circumstances are paid first once their claim is approved and payment authorized. After that, payments are made in order based on the date the claimant received notification of their award. Once payment information is given to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, it can take up to three weeks for the funds to be received in the claimant’s designated bank account.
As noted above, many 9/11 victims who submitted claims over two years ago are still awaiting decisions and awards. For those victims and their families, this can be a frustrating and painfully long time. At Turley, Hansen & Rosasco, our 9/11 attorneys help prepare the strongest possible VCF claim applications and work tirelessly to get our clients the maximum amount of compensation available as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Since the passage of the original Zadroga Act in 2010, Turley, Hansen & Rosasco has helped over 1600 clients recover over $100 million in 9/11 victim compensation. We are the only law firm in the nation that focuses exclusively on representing victims, first responders, and recovery workers for their 9/11 related illnesses and injuries. Please call us at 1-855-WTC-INFO (982-4636) or fill out our contact form to schedule a free claim review today. We look forward to assisting you and your family.