Initially, the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) planned to reach out directly to physicians and gather medical information for claimants. However, most physicians preferred direct requests from patients instead. Consequently, patients work with their physicians to provide the necessary information for VCF claims.
Also, claimants must pay for the expenses involved with the physician documenting records for the VCF. The VCF does not cover this expense. Claimants often receive an information package from their physicians for providing information to the VCF.
Reasons that physicians send such information packages include the following:
- Medical conditions that private physicians treat in addition to conditions treated by the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program
- No treatment by the WTC Health Program
- The WTC Health Program has no medical records for the claimant in its database and therefore information is necessary for VCF eligibility determination
- VCF determined the claimant was eligible for compensation for some conditions but awards for additional conditions were requested and VCF must determine eligibility for those conditions
Whether physicians send medical information directly to the VCF or the claimant submits the documentation is optional. However, the claim number must appear on all documents sent.
Even though the VCF closed submission for many claims, you may still qualify to submit a claim if your doctor diagnosed your medical condition as 9/11-related after October 3, 2011 or if your related condition is one of various cancers.
To avoid red tape and delays, it is wise to work with an experienced Zadroga Act attorney at Barasch & McGarry who can answer your questions and handle all aspects of the VCF claim.