Since it was first established, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has received and processed thousands of claims. It continues to receive new claims every week. 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. If you are waiting on a determination as to your claim for Zadroga Act compensation, you’ll understandably want to get information as to the status of your claim as it works its way from claim submission to what is hopefully an award of compensation.
Through VCF’s online claims system, claimants can log in and find out the status of their claims. These status updates typically consist of one or two words, but it can be difficult to know what exactly is meant by those short descriptions and what claimants can expect next. That is why the Fund recently released a document designed to provide claimants with an understanding of the possible statuses that apply to claims and what those statuses mean.
As the VCF notes, when your claim is in a review status, you might see a change in either the “Eligibility Status Date” or the “Compensation Status Date” without seeing a corresponding change in the claim status. This change in date without a corresponding change in the claim status simply reflects that the VCF has taken some action on your claim, but the action has not changed the overall claim status. This occurs on a regular basis as your claim moves through the various steps in the review process.
Some of the more common statuses that you may see in the claims system and their meaning are:
- Incomplete or Incomplete (Continue). This status may apply to Registration, Eligibility and/or Compensation and indicates you started the specific section of your claim form and entered some information, but did not complete and submit the form.
- Registration: Your registration information has been received by the VCF. You may now begin the Eligibility and Compensation sections of your claim.
- Eligibility: The Eligibility portion of your claim has been submitted. The VCF will begin its review of your claim once you submit the Compensation portion.
- Compensation: The Compensation portion of your claim has been submitted.
- Note: Both the Eligibility and Compensation sections of your claim must be in “Submitted” status before the VCF can begin review of your claim.
- Under Review. This status applies to both Eligibility and Compensation and lets you know that the VCF is reviewing your claim form and any supporting documents you uploaded or submitted. Your claim will also briefly return to this status once it moves to “Special Master Review” and a determination has been rendered. When your claim returns to “Under Review” after being in the “Special Master Review” status, the VCF expects the decision to be entered within one week. In general, claims that move back to “Under Review” for more than one week require additional information and the VCF will contact you to explain what is needed.
As noted, the VCF claim process can be daunting. Even if you qualify for compensation, you could still lose your ability to obtain that compensation if you fail to submit a complete application or miss important registration deadlines. AtTurley, Hansen & Rosasco, we are committed to ensuring that victims of the September 11th attacks receive the maximum amount of compensation available under the law. 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 $75 million in VCF compensation on behalf of over 1,200 clients.
Please call us today at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636) or fill out our contact form to arrange for your free 9/11 claim evaluation. We look forward to assisting you.