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Victim Compensation Fund

How to Prove Presence at a 9/11 Crash Site

January 30, 2013 | Michael Barasch

To qualify for compensation through the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), you must demonstrate both a covered physical illness or injury and that you were present at the crash sites, in a defined area of Lower Manhattan surrounding the World Trade Center, or along one of the routes taken by the debris from WTC. With the VCF newly reopened, many survivors and first responders who did not qualify for compensation under the first Victim Compensation Fund have become entitled to compensatory payments. But how can you show that you were present at or near the sites more than 10 years ago?

Employer records provide one prime method of demonstrating your presence, in particular records showing that you worked for an organization responsible for rescue and recovery, clean up or debris transportation. These include personnel rosters, WTC site credentials and pay stubs. You can also show proof of residence through rent and mortgage receipts and utility bills. You may also show presence through other types of documentation, like records of orders delivered and received, medical records, parking tickets, tax returns, school or day care records, etc.

Finally, if you have little or no documentary evidence of your presence in a covered area between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002, you can also submit sworn and notarized statements from people who can confirm that you were present during the aftermath of the attacks. Proving presence may be difficult — few of us hold on to that sort of document for more than five or seven years, let alone a full decade — but it is an essential part of submitting a successful claim to the VCF. Our knowledgeable attorneys can help.

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