Clarification of Victim Compensation Fund Deadlines
Deadline to register claims with the Victim Compensation Fund is 2 years from date of diagnosis
As a general rule, first responders who were diagnosed with any one of the 68 cancers that have been linked by NIOSH to the WTC toxic dust have two years from the date of their diagnosis to file a claim with the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).
The deadline for anyone diagnosed with cancer prior to October 12, 2012 was October 12, 2014. However, cancer diagnoses continue to be issued and certain cancers have been added to the original list. Active deadlines for claimants suffering from a WTC-related cancer are as follows:
- Claimants diagnosed after October 12, 2012 with one of the cancers added to the list on that date must register within two years of diagnosis, but no later than October 3, 2016, which is also the deadline to file.
- The deadline for anyone diagnosed with prostate cancer on or before October 21, 2013 is October 21, 2015. (In order to be linked to the toxic dust at Ground Zero, the date of diagnosis must have been made after the latency period of September 11, 2005.)
- Claimants diagnosed with prostate cancer after October 21, 2013 must register within two years of diagnosis, but no later than October 3, 2016.
- The deadline for anyone diagnosed with a rare cancer on or before February 18, 2014 is February 18, 2016.
- Claimants diagnosed with a rare cancer after February 18, 2014 must file within two years of diagnosis, but no later than October 3, 2016.
Rare Cancers are defined as “any type of cancer that occurs in less than 15 cases per 100,000 persons per year in the United States.” Some examples of cancer that meet the “rare cancer” definition include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Malignant neoplasm of the testis
- Neuroendocrine malignancies
- Malignant neoplasm of the male breast
- Malignant neoplasm of the gallbladder/biliary tract
- Malignant neoplasm of the small intestine
- Malignant neoplasm of the thymus
- Malignant neoplasm of the central nervous system
- Malignant neoplasm of the adrenal gland
- Gastrointestinal stromach malignancies
- Malignant neoplasm of the penis
Payment of Awards Postponed
Because the list of linked cancers is growing as medical studies demonstrate evidence, and doctors cannot ascertain how many more responders will be diagnosed with cancers linked to the WTC, Congress has directed Special Master Birnbaum to only pay 10% of awards that she makes prior to October 3, 2016. At that point, the VCF is supposed to close. If the total amount of awards given out by the VCF exceed the $2.77 billion that was authorized by Congress, the Special Master will have to ratably reduce the 90% balances owed to claimants. If Congress does not authorize additional funding, it is possible that claimants will have their awards ratably reduced when final payments are made in October, 2016. We are working closely with local law makers, union officials and doctors to lobby Congressmen outside of New York to extend and refund the Zadroga VCF.
Contact our attorneys before the VCF deadline approaches!
The terms and conditions for VCF registration and claim filing can be terribly confusing. But you can take advantage of our knowledge and experience by scheduling a free consultation. To discuss your case before the deadline closes, call Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson at 888.351.9421 or contact our office online.