After the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, Congress created two programs to assist victims and survivors of 9/11, the:
- World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP)
- 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)
The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) provides free, lifetime medical treatment for those who were exposed to the 9/11 attacks.
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) provides financial compensation for those who were injured, have been diagnosed with 9/11-related cancer or illness, or have lost a loved one in the 9/11 attacks or due to a 9/11-related health condition.
You may be eligible for both programs.
Both programs are important and provide 9/11 with valuable financial or medical benefits; however, they both have unique purposes and require slightly different criteria and/or documentation based on your eligibility group and exposure zone.
What is the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund?
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) was established by the federal government to provide financial assistance to any individuals (or a personal representative of the deceased) who has been diagnosed with 9/11-related cancer or illness, or who has lost a loved one due to a 9/11-related wrongful death and meets certain eligibility guidelines.
The VCF pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the events of 9/11, and exposure to the 2,500 toxic contaminants found in the debris during clean-up and in the following months.
Nearly 500,000 people were exposed to toxic debris following the terrorist attacks on 9/11. They may qualify for compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) and lifetime medical care from the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP).
Over the past 20 years, the federal 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) has received more than 74,000 VCF claims — and has awarded over $9.89 Billion in VCF claims to first responders, volunteers, residents, students, and survivors; as well as family members/personal representatives of those who have passed away as a result of a 9/11-related condition.
Now, decades after the tragic events, epidemiologic studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and newly published scientific data have found the 9/11 community is still at a significantly higher risk of developing 68 different cancers and illnesses.
Due to extended latency periods, thousands of people continue to be diagnosed with WTC-certified cancers each year — including mesothelioma, skin cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, thyroid cancer, lung cancer, and more.
If you were present at the World Trade Center or the surrounding New York City Exposure Zone; the Pentagon crash site; and the Shanksville, Pennsylvania crash site on 9/11, or anytime in the eight months that followed, you may be eligible for a financial award from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
History of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)
On September 22, 2001, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund began to provide compensation for those who were injured or lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks.
Since that time, the fun has underwent a number of changes in name, funding, and eligibility.
2001: Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act (49 USC 40101)
The original VCF legislation was created by Congress within two weeks of the attacks on 9/11 and was designed to provide relief to the airline industry for the financial loss it suffered related to the terrorist attacks, and to prevent them from going bankrupt.
It operated until its closing in December 2003. A specific provision in the Act also allowed responders and survivors — and families who lost loved ones — to receive compensation for physical injuries resulting from the terrorist-related airplane crashes.
The Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act paid out a total of $7.049 billion to 5,560 claimants.
2010: The James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation Act Of 2010
Recognizing the need to provide health care and compensation to victims of 9/11, the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act” was signed into law 0n January 2, 2011, under President Obama.
This version of the Act devoted approximately $2.775 billion to compensate victims for their injuries through the Victim Compensation Fund and an additional $1.5 billion to funding medical treatment and monitoring for World Trade Center-related injuries.
In December 2015, Congress authorized an additional approximately $4.5 billion in compensation over the next five years. The amended legislation also provided health care for the next seventy-five years.
Previously submitted claims, as well as newly diagnosed conditions and recent deaths, were now eligible to receive compensation.
LEARN MORE: What is the Zadroga Act
2019: The VCF Permanent Authorization Act
In July 2019, under President Trump, “The Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund” — also known as the “VCF Permanent Authorization Act” was signed into law.
This legislation removed the cap on non-economic damages in certain circumstances, and extended the VCF claim filing deadline from December 18, 2020, to October 1, 2090. This Act ensures every eligible first responder or survivor who has suffered, or will suffer, from a WTC-certified cancer or health condition receives compensation.
Filing a claim with an experienced 9/11 World Trade Center Victim Compensation Fund lawyer
Sadly, the events of 9/11 continue to affect the health and wellbeing of thousands of individuals every year.
For those affected, the VCF claim process can be complex.
Unmet eligibility requirements or missed deadlines can cause your claim to be delayed or even denied.
If you have been diagnosed with 9/11-related cancer, a serious health condition, or have lost a loved one due to toxic exposure on or after 9/11, the experienced VCF lawyers at Cannata, Hendele & Cannata can help.
Over the past 20 years, our attorneys have had the privilege of helping thousands of widows, survivors, responders and residents recover tax-free compensation from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
We understand the complex eligibility requirements, the filing process, and critical deadlines and will help ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
Don't wait! Speak with an experienced VCF attorney at Cannata, Hendele & Cannata today to learn if you are eligible for a claim.