Victim Compensation Fund FAQ

Source: www.vcf.gov/faq.html

Cancer-Related FAQs

1.2 Who is eligible for the new VCF? Updated: October 2, 2012

2.8 What type of injury must a Claimant or decedent have suffered to be eligible for compensation? Updated: October 2, 2012

3.4 Is cancer covered by the VCF? Updated: October 17, 2012

3.21 How do I submit a new claim, or supplement my existing claim, to include cancer as a claimed condition? Updated: December 13, 2012

3.22 What is the process that NIOSH will use to determine whether to “certify” a cancer that has been added to the list of WTC conditions? Added: December 13, 2012

 

Section 1. General Issues

1.1 What is the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund?

1.2 Who is eligible for the new VCF? Updated: October 2, 2012

1.3 When did the VCF begin accepting claims? Updated: January 24, 2013

1.4 How long will I have to file a claim with the Fund? Updated: December 13, 2012

1.5 How is the VCF funded?

1.6 How is the VCF different than the World Trade Center Health Program?

1.7 Where do I get and submit the appropriate forms for filing a claim with the Fund? Updated: November 22, 2011

1.8 Does it cost anything to file a claim?

1.9 How will I know that my claim has been received?

1.10 Can more than one person file a claim for the same individual?

1.11 How do I find out who has submitted a claim?

1.12 My business was impacted by the events of September 11th; can I get money from this fund?

1.13 Can I have someone else talk to the Special Master's office about my claim?

1.14 I have heard that USIS | LABAT, Garretson Resolution Group, Lockheed Martin, and IBM are working for the Victim Compensation Fund. What do these companies do?

1.15 Why are Claimant and Decedent names published on the DOJ website?

1.16 How can I get assistance with my claim?

1.17 Is it possible to authorize multiple individuals to talk with the VCF about my claim? Updated: February 1, 2013

1.18 When registering on the VCF website and completing the online claim form, how is the information I enter protected? Why does the site not have a lock symbol at the bottom of the screen to indicate it is secure? Added: March 28, 2012

1.19 What is a “Claim Number” or “Claimant Identification Number” and Why Do I Have One? Updated: March 15, 2013

1.20 How can I confirm that I am registered for the VCF and/or that my claim has been submitted? Added: February 22, 2013

 

Section 2. Eligibility

2.1 Who is an eligible Claimant?

2.2 What are the 9/11 crash sites?

2.3 What is the "immediate aftermath"? When must individuals have been present at the sites to be eligible?

2.4 How do I prove that the individual was present at the site?

2.5 If I submit documents such as employer records or proof of residence, do I still need to submit affidavits regarding my presence at the site? Updated: April 19, 2012

2.6 How many documents related to my presence at the site do I need to submit? Updated: April 19, 2012

2.7 If the original VCF (VCF1) accepted the proof of presence at the site that I submitted in support of my original claim, do I need to re-submit proof to the VCF to support my current claim? Updated: November 22, 2011

2.8 What type of injury must a Claimant or decedent have suffered to be eligible for compensation? Updated: October 2, 2012

2.9 For purposes of the VCF, who is a Responder? Updated: December 5, 2011

2.10 If I was not a Responder, am I eligible for the VCF?

2.11 What kind of medical documentation will be required for the VCF? Updated: July 24, 2012

2.12 If I applied to the original VCF, can I apply again now?

2.13 If I participated in a lawsuit related to September 11th, can I participate in the VCF? Updated: January 24, 2013

2.14 Do I have to live in New York to participate in the VCF?

2.15 If I do not live in New York, how can I participate in the VCF?

2.16 Are foreign nationals or residents eligible for the VCF?

2.17 NO LONGER RELEVANT Updated: April 19, 2012

2.18 If I need to submit a sworn statement/affidavit to show that I was present at a 9/11 crash site, what should that statement/affidavit contain? Updated: November 9, 2012

2.19 I worked in one of the temporary morgues on pier locations on the west side of Manhattan. Will that satisfy the geographical presence requirement, even though the morgue was located outside of the NYC Exposure Zone? Added: April 19, 2012

2.20 I repaired, cleaned or rehabilitated vehicles or equipment that was contaminated by WTC-related debris. Will that satisfy the geographical presence requirement, even if I performed such services outside of the area in lower Manhattan as defined in the Zadroga Act and final regulations? Added: May 16, 2012

2.21 What types of documents will the VCF accept to demonstrate proof of presence at a 9/11 crash site for employees of the FDNY, NYPD or other New York City agency or contractor hired by the City of New York to perform rescue, recovery, demolition, debris cleanup or other related services? Updated: January 15, 2013

2.22 Am I eligible for the VCF if I started working in the NYC Exposure Zone after May 30, 2002? Added: May 25, 2012

2.23 I already submitted information about my presence at the 9/11 crash site for a lawsuit. Do I still have to provide proof of presence at a 9/11 crash site if I was approved for a settlement in my lawsuit? Added: July 17, 2012

2.24 How can I complete the questions in the Eligibility Form that ask the dates that each injury/condition was discovered, first treated, and/or first diagnosed if I do not know the exact date(s) and/or do not have medical records to verify the exact date(s)? Added: July 24, 2012

2.25 Will the VCF accept as proof of presence at the site the Communications Workers of America’s (“CWA”) “WTC Recovery/Cleanup Effort Exposure Information” forms which were distributed and collected by CWA local unions and provided to the CWA District 1 office in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and which document a Claimant’s WTC-related exposure? Added: August 13, 2012

2.26 I was employed by the FDNY. What kind of documents do I need to submit to show that I was present at a 9/11 crash site during the relevant time period? Added: August 14, 2012

2.27 If the person who can submit an affidavit to establish presence at the site does not speak English, may I submit an affidavit in another language? Added: December 28, 2012

2.28 What other options are available to assist claimants in obtaining documentation regarding “presence at the site”? Updated: January 7, 2013

2.29 What types of documents will the VCF accept to demonstrate proof of presence at a 9/11 crash site for NYPD claimants? Updated: March 19, 2013

2.30 What types of documents and/or information should claimants who worked for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey submit to demonstrate proof of presence at a 9/11 crash site, compensation and/or workers’ compensation benefits related to the claimant’s eligible WTC-related injury or condition? Added: January 15, 2013

 

Section 3. Physical Injuries or Conditions Eligible for Compensation for Personal Injury or Death

3.1 If I did not experience any physical injury or death as a result of September 11th, but I experienced emotional or mental harms as a result of the events, am I eligible for the VCF?

3.2 If I have a physical condition that was a result of September 11th but is not a common condition, am I eligible for the VCF? Updated: December 5, 2011

3.3 I do not see my injury on the list of presumptively covered conditions. Will the list of covered conditions change? Updated: October 2, 2012

3.4 Is cancer covered by the VCF? Updated: October 17, 2012

3.5 If I have a physical condition that is on the list of presumptively covered conditions, does this mean I am definitely going to be compensated by the VCF?

3.6 How will the VCF determine if a condition was a result of September 11th? Updated: December 5, 2011

3.7 How do I prove that my presumptively covered condition is a result of the crashes or debris removal? Updated: July 24, 2012

3.8 How can I find out if I am eligible for treatment by the WTC Health Program that commenced on July 1, 2011?

3.9 What if I am not being treated by the WTC Health Program that commenced on July 1, 2011? Can I still participate in the VCF?

3.10 Do I need to submit any medical records to the VCF if my condition has been certified for treatment under the WTC Health Program after July 1, 2011? Updated: July 24, 2012

3.11 If I need to submit medical records, do they need to be "certified" medical records? What are "certified" medical records? Updated: July 24, 2012

3.12 If I first developed my presumptively covered condition before September 11th, 2001, but it has gotten worse since then, can I still participate in the VCF?

3.13 If I have suffered a physical injury as a result of September 11th, but I never sought medical treatment for the injury, am I eligible for the VCF?

3.14 If I have suffered a physical injury as a result of September 11th but am still able to work, am I eligible for the VCF?

3.15 Will side effects from taking September 11th-related medications be covered by the VCF?

3.16 If I have multiple conditions as a result of September 11th, will the VCF cover all of them?

3.17 If I am found eligible for the VCF, what treatments are covered?

3.18 What standards apply for an individual who has died? Updated: December 5, 2011

3.19 If I have a condition that has been certified for treatment under the WTC Health Program after July 1, 2011, am I automatically eligible to recover from the VCF for that certified condition? Added: July 24, 2012

3.20 How will the VCF determine whether the injury or condition is “certified” by NIOSH for deceased individuals? Added: October 2, 2012

3.21 How do I submit a new claim, or supplement my existing claim, to include cancer as a claimed condition? Added: December 13, 2012

3.22 What is the process that NIOSH will use to determine whether to “certify” a cancer that has been added to the list of WTC conditions? Added: December 13, 2012

3.23 I have been found eligible for some conditions, but I have additional conditions that I believe are eligible and could affect my compensation award. What can I do?(Added: January 24, 2013)

 

Section 4. Application Process

Note: FAQs 4.3-4.8 were renumbered on November 22, 2011 and December 5, 2011.

4.1 What do I have to do to apply to the VCF? Which application form should I complete?

4.2 Where do I get the application form and how do I submit it? Updated: November 22, 2011

4.3 NO LONGER RELEVANT Updated: November 22, 2011

4.4 What does it mean to register for the VCF? Updated: August 13, 2012

4.5 NO LONGER RELEVANT Updated: December 5, 2011

4.6 Is there a deadline for filing the forms? Updated: January 24, 2013

4.7 Which application form should I complete if I am filing on behalf of somebody who suffered a physical injury as a result of the aircraft crashes or debris removal but has since died from an unrelated cause?

4.8 Once I file the claim form, what will happen?

4.9 Is it possible for law firms or other organization to submit claimant information in a “group” or “bulk” format so that the law firm can submit multiple claims at the same time? Updated: June 22, 2012

4.10 If I currently have a presumptively covered health condition but I think it may get worse, should I wait until then to file my claim? Updated: January 24, 2013

4.11 Can I print my claim form? Added: August 22, 2012

4.12 How do I upload additional documents to my claim once I have submitted the Eligibility form online? Added: January 24, 2013

4.13 Can I access my claim online if I originally filed on paper? Added: January 24, 2013

 

Section 5. Personal Representative

5.1 Who is the Personal Representative of a deceased individual?

5.2 How do I get appointed Personal Representative by a State court?

5.3 How do I show that I am the proper Personal Representative of the deceased individual for filing a claim with the VCF?

5.4 What is Domicile?

5.5 I was appointed as the Personal Representative of a deceased individual’s estate by a Surrogate’s Court in the State of New York, but the letters of administration contain restrictions on my authority to file, prosecute and compromise a claim. Does this affect my ability to file a claim with the VCF? (Added: March 15, 2013)

 

Section 6. Compensation Computations

6.1 Will the amount of awards be the same as in the VCF's first iteration, or will they be reduced?

6.2 How much money can I receive from the VCF? How do I figure out how much I will get?

6.3 What is economic loss?

6.4 Can I apply for both prior loss and future loss?

6.5 If I have not yet suffered economic harm, but fear that I may suffer economic harms in the future, should I submit a claim to the VCF now?

6.6 If I have not yet suffered economic harm, but my condition is expected to worsen, am I eligible for the VCF?

6.7 Do I need to list every single medical expense I have incurred as a result of my condition?

6.8 Can I seek compensation for medical losses I have incurred even if I was covered by health insurance?

6.9 Can I seek compensation for my health insurance premiums?

6.10 What does "loss of earnings to date" mean?

6.11 What if I missed work but was still paid because of sick leave, vacation days, or comp time?

6.12 What type of documents do I need to submit to prove that I missed work and lost earnings?

6.13 What is included in the definition of income for military personnel?

6.14 What are replacement services?

6.15 If my career is cut short as a result of a condition that is compensable under the VCF, will my award take into account lost wages?

6.16 If my career is cut short as a result of a condition that is compensable under the VCF, will my award take into account decreased pension benefits as a result of the shorter career?

6.17 Is the value of the pension earned by a deceased individual taken into consideration in computing claim award amounts?

6.18 Would you provide more information about the procedures for calculating the presumed economic loss? Updated: October 31, 2012

6.19 What is non-economic loss?

6.20 How will non-economic loss be calculated?

6.21 How will the Special Master determine the amount of my collateral source benefits?

6.22 What may be excluded from the definition of a collateral source benefit?

6.23 Will collateral offsets that are paid periodically be reduced for the time value of money?

6.24 Are charitable gifts offset? Will a benefit from a charity managed by a government agency be considered as a collateral offset?

6.25 Are payments made by the various State Victim of Crime Boards funded with federal funds considered collateral offsets?

6.26 Will my workers' compensation be treated as a collateral offset?

6.27 How will the Special Master calculate the appropriate offset for "contingent" benefits?

6.28 Will my Social Security survivor benefits that I am receiving for myself as a surviving spouse and for my children be counted as a collateral offset?

6.29 Will the money the Decedent spent on premiums for his/her life insurance plan be included in the offset?

6.30 Will the money the Decedent contributed to his/her pension be included in an offset?

6.31 How will the VCF determine an individual's level of disability or incapacity for purposes of calculating economic loss?
Added: December 5, 2011

6.32 Are there specific medical records that I must submit with my Compensation Form to demonstrate my economic loss?
Added: July 24, 2012

6.33 What types of documents will the VCF accept to demonstrate a WTC-related disability for FDNY Claimants?
Added: July 26, 2012

 

Section 7. Waiver/Certification

7.1 What does it mean to waive rights to file a lawsuit?

7.2 Whose rights are waived by filing a claim?

7.3 When do I give up my rights to file other claims in court?

7.4 What happens if I file a claim with the VCF and also file a lawsuit against someone who is not a "knowing participant in any conspiracy to hijack any aircraft or commit any terrorist act"? Updated: November 22, 2011

7.5 What documentation is required to demonstrate the timely "withdrawal" of a pending lawsuit related to September 11, 2001 - i.e., withdrawal of the lawsuit on or before January 2, 2012? Updated: April 19, 2012

 

Section 8. Funds and Awards

8.1 When will I receive my full award?

8.2 Will there be a procedure for receiving early payments, or "advance benefits," as they were known in the first VCF?

8.3 What are the options for receiving my payment from the Fund? Added: January 15, 2013

8.4 Can direct deposit payments be made to money market or brokerage accounts? Added:January 15, 2013

8.5 If I reside outside the U.S. can payments be made through direct deposit to a foreign bank? Added: January 15, 2013

8.6 How do I provide my bank account information to the Fund? Added: January 15 2013

8.7 Where do I find the payment information form? Added: January 15, 2013

8.8 I use an online bank. Since they do not have physical offices, how do I get them to complete the VCF ACH Payment Information Form? Added: January 15, 2013

8.9 Our law firm has an agreement with our clients that Fund payments will be made directly to the law firm bank account on behalf of the claimant. What information must we provide to the Fund to make payments directly to the law firm account? Updated: February 12, 2013

 

Section 9. Hearing/Appeals

9.1 When can I have a hearing?

9.2 How long will hearings last?

9.3 Will I be able to have a hearing?

9.4 Who will conduct the hearings?

9.5 Can I present evidence or witnesses at the hearing?

9.6 Who can present information or evidence at the hearing?

9.7 Will decisions be made on the spot at a hearing?

 

Section 10. Legal Issues

10.1 Is my VCF award taxable?

10.2 Can my VCF award be seized in a bankruptcy proceeding?

10.3 If I am eligible for the VCF, am I also eligible for veterans benefits?

 

Section 11. Attorney-Client Issues

11.1 Do I need an attorney to participate in VCF?

11.2 If I choose to use an attorney, how will the attorney be paid?

11.3 If I was a plaintiff in another September 11th lawsuit, and my attorney signed a release before the bill was enacted and I opt in to that settlement, am I eligible for the VCF? Updated: April 19, 2012

11.4 Where can I find out information about the settlements achieved in New York courts?

11.5 Will settlements in civil suits regarding injuries related to September 11th affect my award in the VCF?

11.6 If I no longer want the VCF to communicate with an attorney about my claim, or if I want to change the authorized attorney on my claim, how do I revoke the authorization that I previously provided to the VCF? Added: August 22, 2012

11.7 How does my attorney provide me access to my online claim if my attorney registered me through the VCF’s online claim system? Added: August 22, 2012

11.8 How do I provide my attorney with access to my online claim if I registered through the VCF’s online claim system? Added: August 22, 2012

11.9 What is meant by the “Primary Attorney” designation on the claim form? Can other attorneys or staff from our law firm be listed as authorized representatives on a single claim? Added: February 1, 2013

11.10 How can I confirm my attorney registered me and/or submitted my claim to the VCF? Added: February 19, 2013