The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund has now awarded more than $1 billion in benefits, according to a recently released report. First responders have received the vast majority of that total, at approximately $973 million. The fund provides financial and medical assistance to anyone who fell ill after being exposed to toxic chemicals in the dust at Ground Zero.
Since the Victim Compensation Fund was established, awards have been handed to 4,415 claimants, with another 10,549 having been approved for compensation but waiting to have the amount of their award to be determined. The highest single payout for any award given under the Victim Compensation Fund was $4.1 million, with the average award being $241,000. 719 people suffering from cancer account for approximately $190 million of the billion dollar figure, with another 2,043 people waiting to have their cancer award amounts determined.
The fund is set to close in 2017. Claimants are currently getting 10 percent of their total award immediately, with the rest to be paid when the fund closes in two years.
An uncertain future
VCF releases reports every quarter about the total amount of money given out in fund awards. However, because the VCF has limited funding, it cannot yet accurately determine the total amount of money to be handed out in final payments to victims. If the total calculation of losses ends up being more than the funding limit, the payments will be unable to be granted in full. Congress is currently discussing the prospect of reauthorizing the Zadroga Act, which funds the Victim Compensation Fund.
You still have the opportunity to file a claim for compensation if you have suffered injuries or illnesses as a result of exposure to Ground Zero toxins. Meet with a knowledgeable New York attorney at Barasch, McGarry, Salzman & Penson for the guidance and advice you need.