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

9/11 Victim Compensation Fund FAQ

9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Video FAQs

What is the 9/11 Victim's Compensation Fund?
What Should I Know About Deadlines for VCF Claims?
Why Should I Choose Hansen & Rosasco?
What is the Relationship Between COVID-19 & a VCF Claim?
What is the WTC Health Program?
Do You Need a Lawyer to File a Victim's Compensation Fund Claim?
Why Would I Appeal a VCF Decision?
Can My 9/11 VCF Claim be Expedited?
What is the Relationship Between SSD & 9/11 VCF Claim?

Common Questions

Are there any deadlines I should know about for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund?

The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund has very strict deadlines for filing 9/11 compensation claims. Missing your deadline has a direct impact on your chances of receiving victim compensation payouts. The registration deadline for the VCF application is two years from the date that either: (i) the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) “certified” a cancer or other condition, or (ii) the date that a state worker’s compensation board or a government employer (such as the FDNY, NYPD, or NYCERS) found a condition as 9/11-related for purposes of awarding a disability pension. For deceased/wrongful death claims, the deadline is July 29, 2021 for the families/estate of anyone who passed before July 29, 2019 or two years from the date of death for families/estate of anyone who passed after July 29, 2019. For a complete list of important deadlines, visit our “9/11 Fund Deadlines” page.

What are the conditions for 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund eligibility?

You may have 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) eligibility if you were present in the “9/11 Crash Site Area” between September 11th, 2001 and May 30th, 2002. All 9/11 victims – including first responders and locals in the Lower Manhattan area – who were exposed to toxins on the day of, and nine months following the attacks, are eligible for VCF payouts. If you have a 9/11-related illness or are a family member who lost a loved one on 9/11, you could be eligible for an award from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. To file a claim, you must register with the VCF by the registration deadline. You have until October 1, 2090, to file all claim forms and supporting documents. However, we advise everyone to begin the process as soon as they can. This will improve your chances of success. Learn more about who is covered by the Victim Compensation Fund here.

What are the benefits included in the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund?

  • Non-economic loss (pain and suffering)
  • Wrongful death award
  • Past and future lost earnings
  • Past lost employment-related benefits
  • Future lost employment-related benefits
  • Past out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Past and future replacement/household services
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Memorial service expenses

Learn more about the compensation payouts from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund here.


What is the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program?

The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program provides no-cost health care for “certified WTC-related health conditions” at some of the finest medical institutions across the country. • Both 9/11 first responders and survivors can get annual medical monitoring exams through the  Health Program at no cost.  First responders, such as firemen, police, and volunteers, get healthcare paid for from the first dollar to the last penny for certified 9/11 conditions. No deductibles, co-pays, or out-of-pocket costs. Survivors, such as downtown workers, residents, or students, get no cost coverage starting after their private health insurer stops paying. If you have a 9/11 cancer and live in NY, you can go to  Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and many others, and never pay a nickel out of pocket for the rest of your life. There is no better health insurance for 9/11 victims than the WTC Health Program.   Now the important part!  The WTC Health Program is inextricably linked to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund because unless you have a Physical medical condition that is both covered and certified by the WTC  Health Program, you will never have a 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund claim. Period, end of  story. (Note the word physical). Think of the WTC Health Program as first base and the Victim Compensation Fund as second base, third base, and Homeplate where you get your money. If you don’t get to first base, you are never going to round the bases and collect the compensation you deserve from the 9/11 Victim  Compensation Fund.   The key word here “certification”! You must complete an application for the WTC Health  Program. It may take up to six months before you can get a “certification “ exam with a WTCHP  doctor. It may then take another 2-3 months to get your actual certification letter from the  Health Program. Once you have that letter, you are on first base. In our office we have one full-time paralegal who does nothing but try to move WTC HP  applications along, especially for those with serious or terminal cancers. She answers questions for clients regarding the WTC Health Program and contacts the Program when our clients have problems with the program. She is our “official liaison” to the WTC HP and can get through to the problem solvers. 

What is the procedure for filing a VCF claim?

The attorneys at Hansen & Rosasco, LLP can help you properly gather all necessary records, interview witnesses and prepare necessary affidavits, and complete and file all forms so your VCF claim is approved promptly. We are determined to help you reach a VCF settlement with maximum compensation possible. See the steps for filing your VCF claim here.

What is considered an “economic loss” under the VCF?

  • Loss of earnings or other benefits related to employment because of disability or death;
  • Past medical and other out-of-pocket expense loss;
  • Household replacement services loss (such as hiring landscapers, housekeepers, etc.).
Learn more about the “economic losses” covered through the VCF here.

What is the World Trade Center Health Program?

The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) consists of a Responder Program for rescue and recovery workers which includes more than 90,000 New York City first responders and construction workers, and a Survivor Program for those who lived, worked or went to school in Lower Manhattan on 9/11 or during the ten months after the attacks. Learn more about the World Trade Center Health Program here.

Can I get “pain and suffering” damages from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund?

Yes. The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund calls “pain and suffering” damages “non-economic loss.” Pain and suffering damages describe the physical pain, emotional distress, and the loss of enjoyment of life’s activities that a victim endures as a result of the 9/11-covered physical injuries or illnesses. Importantly, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund does not make an award for non-physical injuries such as PTSD, but the WTC Health Program does provide lifetime coverage for counselling for PTSD and other mental health conditions. Read more about the 9/11 VCF pain and suffering payouts here.

Why would I need to file an amendment or appeal with the Victim Compensation Fund?

If your condition changes, or you are not satisfied with your award, you will need to file an 9/11 Fund amendment or appeal. This is not an easy process and one that can be overwhelming to victims and their families. You will not receive a payment until your appeal is concluded, so it is important to have a 9/11 VCF law firm on your side that can expedite the process and help the appeals process go smoothly. Hansen & Rosasco, LLP can help you navigate this complex process. Learn more about the 9/11 amendments and appeals processes here.

Why should I choose Hansen & Rosasco as my 9/11 Attorneys?

We have been representing 9/11 victims since the beginning. I took my first case, on a pro bono basis, in October 2001 for the family who lost their 22-year-old son when the North Tower came down. He worked at the Windows on the World Restaurant on the 107th floor. His mother worked for a financial institution on a floor below and had helped him get the job at the restaurant. She got out of the building and to safety before the building fell. Her young son did not. I met with the mother and she was devastated by survivor guilt for both getting her son the job in the restaurant and getting out herself.  After hearing that story, and successfully getting her family compensation, I knew that helping  9/11 victims was a calling, not just the practice of an area of law. I began writing articles and giving lectures to other lawyers about how to handle 9/11 cases. I became an Adjunct Prof at an NYC law school where I taught about 9/11 claims. Since, Hansen & Rosasco has represented thousands of 9/11 victims and recovered millions of dollars for our clients from the 9/11 VCF. We know the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund claims back and forth. We are a large enough law firm to get you maximum compensation from the VCF, but small enough to care. • I enjoy speaking to clients every single day.   If you have questions or need representation before the 9/11 VCF, we would be pleased to give you a free consultation. Call 1-844-4SEPT-11 today so we can talk.

Do you need a lawyer to file a 9/11 Victim Compensation claim?

Technically, no. The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund was originally set up so that claimants could file their claims on their own.  So why are over 80% of 9/11 claimants represented by lawyers today? The simple answer is that filing a claim has become much more difficult since the original James  Zadroga Act was passed in 2010. The issue of 9/11 claim “fraud” has been in the papers recently with the arrests by the FBI of certain supposed “victims” claiming financial compensation.  As a result, the Fund has made the evidence required to prove that victims were in the NYC  Exposure Zone much tougher. The level of evidence required today is much more stringent than it was 5 years ago. The VCF requires written witness affidavits made under the penalty of perjury to prove our clients were in the NYC Exposure Zone below Canal St.  We have a whole team of paralegals who do nothing but help our clients get proper witness statements acceptable to the VCF. The Fund now publishes a 123-page “policies and procedures manual” that governs how to file a  claim. In addition, the Fund holds regular meetings with 9/11 attorneys to update them with new guidance about current issues in the claims process. Hansen & Rosasco attorneys meet with representatives of the VCF on a weekly basis to discuss claims the ongoing claims process.  If you have questions about whether you need a lawyer to file your 9/11 Victim Compensation  Fund claim, call us for a free consultation at 1-844-4-SEPT-11

What are the important 9/11 claim filing deadlines?

There are two deadlines associated with filing a VCF Claim: A Registration Deadline and a Claim  Filing Deadline. The Claim Filing Deadline is the same for everyone: October 1, 2090.  Now comes the confusing part! Registration is not the same as filing a claim and the  Registration Deadline is not the same for everyone. It varies according to individual  circumstances:  You are only required to register with the VCF by July 29, 2021, if you meet the following  circumstances:  
  • You are registering to file a claim for an individual who you believe died of a 9/11-related  physical health condition before July 29, 2019. 
  • You were certified by the World Trade Center (“WTC”) Health Program for a 9/11-related  physical health condition before July 29, 2019; or 
  • Bottom line, many families and or individuals MUST register their potential claims by July 29,  2021, or they will forever lose their right to receive compensation
If you are confused, we don’t blame you. This is a government program with many rules,  regulations, and deadlines. There are even some lawyers who don’t understand the real deadlines. Even some lawyers don’t understand the correct deadlines and have been advising  their clients and the public incorrectly! All the deadline information is available on the official government 9/11 Victim Compensation  Fund website, vcf.gov. If you prefer, call our office today for a free consultation. We can tell you in 5 minutes what the  proper deadlines are in your individual case. Again, a very important deadline is coming up on July 29, 2021. Call us at 1-844-4SEPT-11 if you  have questions. We will provide you with the answers.

What are the requirements for wrongful death claims and how are the benefits awarded through the VCF?

If you have lost a family member to a 9/11 cancer or related condition, your family could be eligible for wrongful death awards from the Victim Compensation Fund. The timeframe for when a wrongful death claim can be filed expires two years after a victim’s date of death. Wrongful death claims are determined by personal injury pain and suffering, wrongful death pain and suffering, spouse and dependent awards, memorial service and funeral costs, loss of earnings, and replacement service losses. See detailed list of benefits for wrongful death claims here.

What are some of the common illnesses covered by the VCF?

VCF cancer payouts are among the most common claims made under the Victim Compensation Fund. Other common conditions include:
  • Non-melanoma skin cancer
  • Melanoma of the skin
  • Prostate cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Kidney cancer
See a full list of WTC-related health conditions here.

“My partner was given the most professional and thorough attention in the process of preparing an application for the Victims Compensation Fund. After having a very serious form of cancer, he welcomed the advice and care you provided which was greatly needed.” -Beverly R.

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