Last week, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund released its annual report, documenting their work in support of the 9/11 community over the past year.
Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya included a note discussing how, even as the fund transitioned to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, the VCF team has continued to process claims and authorize awards.
In 2020, the fund awarded more than $1.5 billion to 9/11 first responders, survivors, and their families —part of the nearly $8 billion awarded since the fund opened in 2011.
The report also documented:
- 8,273 approved eligibility determinations
- 9,129 payments processed
- 8,813 initial award letters
- 454 claims expedited
9/11 community members are reported to reside throughout the United States, with a map reflecting the FEMA search-and-rescue teams that came to Ground Zero from every part of the country as well as those who retired and relocated to new areas.
There are concerns, however, about the decline in new claims submitted in 2020, after steady increases in new claims from 2016 to 2019. This reduction was almost certainly the result of COVID-19 lockdowns, which resulted in delayed checkups with primary care providers which would have been the basis for new claims.
That decline should concern us, because early detection of many diseases – particularly cancer – saves lives and dramatically improves quality of life by allowing the 9/11 community to access treatment through the World Trade Center Health Program.
If you have been diagnosed with any of the 68 different types of cancer or the many respiratory diseases or if you have any questions about the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, please call us at 212-385-8000 or visit 911victims.com.
Read the full 9/11 VCF’s 2020 annual report here.