How Much Am I Eligible to Be Awarded from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund?
The September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States that took place at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, along with the events leading up to the Shanksville, Pennsylvania crash site were devastating. To further add to the September 11th tragedy, in the years following the attack, thousands of people became ill due to exposures of the various toxins present in Lower Manhattan south of Canal Street, the Staten Island Landfill, or certain piers associated with barge loading and debris removal in New York City. There are also additional locations of exposure for which compensation can be awarded. The attorneys at Gregory Cannata & Associates can review the particulars of your situation.
Many of these individuals are eligible to receive compensation from the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), but they aren’t sure if they qualify or how much compensation they will be eligible to receive. Unfortunately, the answer is not simple. Every VCF claimant’s recovery will be different based on the extent of their losses.
Receive Help by World Trade Center Victim Compensation Fund Attorneys
Filing for a VCF award can be a difficult process because of the detailed documentation required to submit to prove eligibility. Gregory Cannata & Associates is dedicated to helping people bring claims before the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
Call 888-982-8428 today to learn our experienced VCF lawyers help you determine if you qualify and to discuss the potential award amount you may be eligible to receive.
What is the Victim Compensation Fund?
The VCF is a federal fund authorized by Congress. It is designed to provide victims of September 11th monetary awards due to losses suffered. Money is also allocated to people who have been diagnosed with cancers, lung diseases, and numerous other non-cancerous medical conditions after being exposed to dust, debris, and other toxins at Ground Zero. Claimants did not have to be present at the World Trade Center on 9/11 to qualify for compensation.
Since 9/11, there have been several versions of the VCF. The original VCF fund for victims operated through2004. In 2010, Congress passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (known as the “Zadroga Act, named after James Zadroga, an NYPD detective who succumbed to illness from exposure to toxins in lower Manhattan). This fund was scheduled to run for five years but was extended n 2015 for another five years. It recently extended once again by lawmakers. and it’s official the VCF will now be funded until 2090.
This fund also compensates the relatives of people who have died as a result of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Since the fund was first created, the personal injury attorneys at Gregory Cannata and Associates have been actively representing individuals and families who have suffered in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
How are VCF Awards Calculated?
While every individual’s claim is different depending on their individual circumstances, there is a standard calculation used for everyone who has an eligible condition to file a claim. The victim compensation calculator formula is generally as follows:
Non-economic losses + economic losses – collateral offsets = award amount
The formula looks straightforward, but in reality, filing for a claim is a very complex process. The actual series of calculations are several pages in length. Approvals aren’t automatic. However, an experienced 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund attorney can guide clients through this intricate process to increase the chances they will be granted a VCF award and most importantly, obtain the right amount
What are Non-Economic Losses?
In legal terms, non-economic losses are what is called “pain and suffering.” There are two types of non-economic loss awards recognized by the VCF: Non-economic loss for death and non-economic loss for injury. A 9/11 VCF attorney can help injured persons, or in the case of death, the family members, determine their eligibility to apply for a claim.
Generally speaking, to qualify for a VCF award, an individual must have suffered cancer (over 75 different forms of cancer are now recognized), respiratory illness or other related conditions. If an individual has unfortunately died as a result of his/her illness, an award can be granted to the estate.
What are Economic Losses?
Losses an individual suffers due to a direct result of a physical injury are categorized as economic losses. Losses include both earnings lost before filing for a VCF claim and any future earning losses expected. Factors taken into consideration when examined by the VCF include age, income, disability percentage, date of the onset of the disability, and if the claimant had employer-provided benefits. If an individual is permanently disabled as a result of his/her 9/11 related illness, a claim can be made for loss of earnings through what would have been their normal retirement age.
What are Collateral Offsets?
The third piece of the VCF compensation formula is collateral offsets, also referred to as collateral source payments. These are the benefits an individual receives from different sources. These payments or funds are subtracted from the claimant’s losses and include , disability insurance payments. and death benefits and in the case of death, life insurance proceeds..
Claimants do not have to deduct charitable gifts or services, donations received from charities that were privately funded, or federal tax benefits provided by the Victims of Terrorism Tax Relief Act because these are not considered to be collateral source payments. However, they do have to list payments from government sources (i.e. Social Security Disability, and Workers’ Compensation) and subtract them as collateral offsets. Generally, receiving an award from the VCF does not affect these types of benefits you are already receiving.
Registering with the VCF and subsequently filing a claim to demonstrate non-economic losses, economic losses, and collateral offsets aren’t enough to qualify for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The VCF claim will be reviewed for eligibility before going further. Any mistakes or omissions in the documentation process can cause significant delays in the claim process or a denial of your claim.
What are Qualifying Conditions to be Eligible for a VCF Claim?
Realistically speaking, there are hundreds of illnesses and injuries the 9/11 VCF fund considers as qualified conditions. In general, the following types of illnesses and injuries will qualify a person to be considered for compensation.
- Acute traumatic injury
- Aerodigestive disorders
- Cancer (more than 75 types)
- Musculoskeletal disorder
- Other non-cancer illnesses and injuries
All claims, with the exception of death claims, must be certified by the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP). While the WTCHP is a program created to help survivors of 9/11 receive medical monitoring and health care treatment, it is not a compensation program. Once certified, the WTC Health Program provides the claimant with a letter indicating they have been officially diagnosed by a doctor. It is the VCF that can award monetary compensation.
Some types of illnesses and injuries are tied to the amount of time the claimant was in an exposure zone following the 9/11 attacks in Lower Manhattan, but since these dates are often are modified and unique to each type of illness, it’s always a good idea to speak with a knowledgeable VCF attorney who is up to date on the latest changes. He or she will examine an individual’s health records and personal situation to help determine if they qualify to register with the VCF and make a claim for WTC VCF Awards. You did not have to be there on 9/11 to qualify.
Contact Our 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund Lawyers
The attorneys at Gregory Cannata and Associates are experienced and compassionate lawyers who are dedicated to helping people receive financial compensation for their losses and suffering. Since the original fund was established, our law firm has successfully obtained over $300 million for clients who were severely impacted by the tragic events transpiring at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001.
If you, or a loved one, has suffered health problems or died due to fumes, dust, or other toxic exposures from the World Trade Center site, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. Nothing can replace the loss of your health or of someone dear to you, but we hope a VCF payout will help ease your pain and burdens.
Contacting our New York City law firm is free, we never charge our clients fees for legal advice unless and until we recover compensation on their behalf. Our fees, as authorized by Congress, are extremely reasonable.
We can help you apply to both the WTCHP and the VCF. Call us today at 888-982-8428 to learn more about the VCF compensation formula or to obtain general information about the 9/11 victim’s compensation program.
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