The VCF has posted an update on the timeline for the review of claims from the time of submission to when they will receive an award (taken from FAQ 1.2 on the VCF's website):
I submitted my claim. When will a decision be made on my claim?
(Updated: September 18, 2017)
As a general rule, claims are reviewed in “first in, first out” order based on the date the claim was submitted. This means the VCF prioritizes claims that have been waiting longer before beginning review of newer submissions.
Our focus continues to be on the oldest compensation claims and we expect to render award decisions on all compensation claims submitted in 2015, for which we have all the information required to make a decision, by the end of 2017. We are currently issuing awards on claims filed in the later part of 2015. Please do not be alarmed if your compensation claim was submitted in 2015 and is not yet showing as “Under Review” in the online system. We implemented new processes earlier this year that have resulted in the faster review and determination of claims.
Please remember that each VCF claim is individually reviewed and calculated, with some of the more complex claims taking significantly longer to complete. This is particularly true of wrongful death claims, in other words, those claims filed for victims who died of a 9/11-related condition. These claims require the submission and review of a substantial amount of information and documentation in order for the award to be calculated. In addition to information from third parties that includes details of pensions, life insurance, and Social Security Survivors Benefits (as examples), the VCF must also review information on dependents, employer benefits, and confirm the legal authority of the Personal Representative who filed the claim.
Once the VCF begins reviewing your claim, we will contact you if we need any additional information. The best way to help speed the review of your claim is to respond promptly to any request.