This depends. The VCF generally prioritizes claims on the basis of when they received them, meaning they try to address older claims first before moving onto newer ones.
The process is sometimes expedited, however, when the victim is critically ill or destitute. If you or a loved one is suffering from a critical illness related to 9/11, or you have received a mortgage foreclosure or eviction notice, we can ask the VCF to expedite your award and payment.
Most other claims simply get added to the queue. The program has worked to shorten the timeframe between when a claim is submitted and when a decision is made. Their goal is to issue determinations within one year of receiving a claim form or amendment, but as of now the time frame from submitting a claim to receiving an award is 13-14 months.
The VCF says that claims submitted in late 2021 should soon be receiving award decisions. Claims submitted in early 2022 should come “under review” by summer 2023.
If this seems like a long time, keep in mind that VCF claims take a while to review, in part because each claim is individually calculated. Especially complex claims can take quite a while to work out, especially if the victim is deceased, and the program sometimes has to wait for information from third parties about the other benefits the victim or family may have received.
To compare, most personal-injury lawsuits take 3+ years from the date a lawsuit is filed until trial.