How does the current Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) differ from the initial VCF closed in 2004?
The first iteration of the VCF was the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, administered by Special Master Kenneth Feinberg. This version of the VCF closed in 2004. It had the advantage of being backed by the entire U.S. Treasury. The purpose of the fund was to help victims who were injured or killed strictly by the terrorist attacks, which made it less broad in scope than the current VCF.
In Special Master Sheila Birnbaum’s NYU Law annual alumni speech, she explains that when the VCF reopened in 2011 it had a different, more expansive focus. However, the new iteration of the VCF also had certain limitations:
- The total available monetary amount was $2.775 billion, which also included fund administration costs.
- In the first five years of the fund, only $875 million could be distributed.
- The remaining fund amounts became dispensable in the sixth and final year of the fund.
- The official closing date of this VCF is October 3, 2016.
The current VCF extends to first responders, residents and others exposed to Ground Zero debris who suffered injury or adverse physical conditions that are 9/11-related. The last date for accepting most claims to this VCF was in 2013. However, the claims may still be submitted for those with 9/11-related, latent physical conditions that were not evident prior to the closing date and were diagnosed subsequent to the final submission date.
The experienced attorneys at Barasch & McGarry assist clients with all aspects of their claims, including appeals, if necessary.