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Victim Compensation Fund

Are the Statistics on Your Side?

May 29, 2014 | Michael Barasch

Statistics show that getting your Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) claim approved depends mostly on whether the VCF has adequate documentation.

At the end of January, 2014, the VCF Program  released statistics that give you an idea of the number of claims that fail to move through the system and why.

Before the VCF even reviews the compensation information submitted with a claim, it must determine that the claim meets three eligibility criteria outlined by the Zadroga Act:

  • Presence at one of the designated sites during the required time
  • Confirmation of proper resolution of any 9/11 lawsuits
  • Diagnosis of a 9/11-related injury or illness on the list of eligible conditions along with verification through medical records or through World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program certification

Of the claims that met the above requirements (eligibility forms with certified eligible conditions), the VCF issued decisions for 4,294 out of 5,581 eligible claims.

However, there were 6,602 eligibility claims for which the VCF could not render a decision, for the following reasons:

  • Claims without an Exhibit A, which allows the VCF to obtain necessary information for determining eligible conditions (2,688 claims)
  • Claims that did not have eligible conditions and that had a lack of response to requests for medical documentation (1,991 claims)
  • Claims that lacked requested details about presence, lawsuit resolution or additional medical documentation or that are pending WTC Health Program review (1,923 claims)

Once the Eligibility Forms pass VCF review, then claimants must submit Compensation Forms for review ─ which also require exhibits, authorizations and certifications. Otherwise, the VCF cannot take action on the claim.

As you can see, the claims process is complicated. The large number of claims that hang up during the process indicate improperly prepared claims. When you have an attorney on your side with a track record of successfully preparing claims that move through the system, then you have the statistics on your side. By working with a skilled and experienced 9/11 lawyer at Barasch & McGarry, you gain a decided advantage with your VCF claim.


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