• 9/11 Victim Programs
  • Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)
  • WTC Health Program (WTCHP)
  • Wrongful Death VCF Claims

Who is Covered by the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund?

Were you present in the NYC “Exposure Zone” between September 11, 2001 and May 30th, 2002? Do you have a 9/11 “covered illness?” 

If you can say “Yes” to both questions, you may be eligible for 9/11 lifetime healthcare benefits and tax-free compensation from the VCF.

9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Eligibility and Coverage 

The Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (now the “Never Forget the Heroes Act”) established the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) to provide financial compensation to those who have since gotten sick with or died from almost any cancer or a breathing or digestive illness. The VCF covers anyone who was present in the “Exposure Zone” (all of lower Manhattan south of Canal Street)– first responders and civilians such as area workers and residents alike – between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002.


Find Out If You Are Covered!


Understanding the  “Exposure Zone”

In general, anyone with any cancer or breathing/digestive illness who was present in the “Exposure Zone” on or after 9/11/2001 may be eligible for free lifetime health care plus a financial award. The “Exposure Zone” is defined as the entire area in Manhattan located south of Canal Street/Clinton Street, including the former WTC complex, the Financial District, Battery Park City, Chinatown, the Two Bridges Area, and the other areas of Lower Manhattan. 

In addition, the Exposure Zone also includes the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island, the trucks and barges that removed 9/11 debris, places where emergency vehicles were cleaned, and the New York City Morgue, as well as anyone that responded to the Pentagon or Shanksville, PA crash sites between the dates of September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002. 
It is important to note that the Exposure Zone under the World Trade Center Health Program is larger than the area covered by the VCF. The WTC Health Program (WTCHP) Exposure Zone includes all the same areas as the VCF plus the western section of Brooklyn Heights and all of Lower Manhattan as far north as Houston Street.


Most Common VCF "Covered Conditions"

The VCF covers a wide range of physical conditions, including over 70 types of cancer (including cancer of the breast, prostate, skin, blood, and just about any other type of cancer),  breathing difficulties, digestive issues, and other related health issues. VCF cancer payouts are now becoming the most common of the 9/11 compensation claims.

View the full list of 9/11 illnesses and VCF-covered conditions and cancers here.


Proving Your Presence at the "Exposure Zone" 

Medical benefits and financial awards for 9/11 cancer and other claims depend on proving that all eligibility criteria are satisfied and the strict registration and claim filing deadlines are met. 9/11 VCF eligibility varies from case to case. Our 9/11 attorneys are ready and able to answer your questions regarding eligibility. In order to prove your presence in the Exposure Zone, you must provide documentation that shows your presence in the area on 9/11/2001 or in the following 9 months. This is not always easy, especially since over 20 years have passed since the attacks, but our experienced legal team will help you acquire this documentation. This can include witness statements, photographs, and/or other documentation to verify your presence in the 9/11 Disaster Area. 

Who Can File 9/11 Claims?

Most importantly, the 9/11 compensation and health programs are not just for first responders – these programs also provide compensation and lifetime health benefits to Lower Manhattan workers, residents, teachers, and students. Eligible 9/11 victims also include those who have since gotten cancer after responding to the attacks, including first responders, rescue workers, construction workers, and volunteers

The list of eligibility requirements for 9/11 claims is extensive and complex, but our 9/11 attorneys can help you determine if you qualify. Individuals who were present in the Exposure Zone on 9/11/2001, or in the 9 months following, and have been diagnosed with cancer or a breathing or digestive condition (or lost a love done due to one of these conditions) by being exposed to the World Trade Center dust in the air during the many months after the attacks. Most are all eligible to file a claim for compensation, even if they got sick years ago.


VCF Program Statistics

Responder Compensation Determinations



Potential Outcomes of Your Claim

The VCF makes cash awards of compensation ranging from $10,000 to $4,000,000. The VCF has established a tiered approach to determine the amount of compensation an individual is eligible to receive. The amount of compensation is based on a number of factors, including the type and severity of the injury or illness, the impact on the individual’s life, the duration of suffering, and the amount of medical and economic (lost wages) loss suffered or funeral and burial expenses in the case of a lost loved one. 

In most cases, claimants will receive a one-time payment that covers all of their losses. This may include non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, plus past 9/11-related medical expenses, lost wages, and other economic losses. In other cases, if a claimant’s condition gets materially worse or they are diagnosed with a new condition, we are able to file an amendment for additional compensation. What compensation to seek can be complex and often difficult to evaluate, benefitting from the assistance of an experienced 9/11 attorney.

Understanding Coverage 

The VCF provides coverage for economic loss, non-economic loss, and past medical expenses. 

Economic Loss

Economic loss includes lost wages and fringe benefits, past out-of-pocket medical costs for 9/11-related conditions, funeral and burial expenses for the loss of a loved one, and “replacement services” to compensate for the household tasks that the 9/11 claimant can no longer perform. 

Non-Economic Loss

The VCF uses the term “‘non-economic loss” to refer to what people usually understand to be known as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life damages. These non-economic award range from $10,000 to $340,000. In addition, in cases where a loved one is loss, the VCF will also make an additional award for the wrongful death pain and suffering, which can be a high as an additional $250,000. Also in the case of a 9/11 wrongful death claim, the VCF may also make a “dependent” award to a surviving spouse and dependent children, which could be as much as $100,000 for the surviving spouse and each dependent child. 

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses include the cost of medical treatment, medication, and any other medical-related expenses associated with 9/11-related cancer or other 9/11-connected medical condition. Importantly, the VCF will not make awards for past medical expenses that were covered by insurance or another third-party payor. Finally, the VCF will accept claims for past medical expenses if the amount paid out-of-pocket is more than $5,000, but there is no cap on awards for past out-of-pocket medical expense awards. 

Additional Compensation For Worsened Conditions

Individuals who have experienced a worsened condition due to the terrorist attacks may be eligible for additional compensation. The VCF considers a worsened condition to be one that has been exacerbated by 9/11 and has caused an individual to suffer additional physical or mental harm.  


How Hansen & Rosasco's 9/11 Attorneys Can Help

To date, Hansen & Rosasco, LLP has recovered over $500,000,000.00 in pain and suffering and loss of earnings awards from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund for our clients. Our legal team can help you understand your eligibility, build your claim, and maximize your potential compensation. Get started today by calling us at 855-416-7256 or filling out a contact form.

“A couple guys in my union referred me to them and I’m so happy they did. They took care of me and all my paper work. Got my witness done. Filled my health program app so now I can get free health care. Got me my award settlement. All while being incredibly knowledgeable, patient and kind.” -Frank C.

Review: 5 / 5

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