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Issues Affecting Your VCF Award

Once you receive your Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) decision letter, you should expect to receive your first payment within 30 days. The VCF is authorized to pay 10 percent of your total loss in the first installment. The VCF will send you the remainder of your payment sometime between 2016 and 2017.

Prior to receiving your first payment, you can take steps to protect your funds. You should keep in mind a few facts:

  • Taxation — The IRS excludes payments made through the VCF as gross income. You do not need to declare the award on your tax return and the amount you receive is not taxable.
  • Bankruptcy and creditors’ rights — The manner in which your VCF award is handled in bankruptcy is determined on a case-by-case basis. Before filing for bankruptcy, you should consult with a lawyer about whether creditors have a right to your VCF payments.
  • Veterans benefits — In some cases, your VCF compensation will be reduced by the amount you receive in veterans benefits. Whether the award is offset and by how much depend on the type of veteran’s benefits you receive. The Veterans Administration is responsible for the issuance of veterans benefits related to the 9/11 attacks.
  • Medicare liens — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) typically imposes a Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) claim when a patient receives compensation for treatments covered under the Medicare or Medicaid programs. However, CMS has decided to waive its MSP claims against VCF awards. No liens will be placed on your VCF award by CMS.
  • Attorney fees — Your attorney is permitted to charge you only 10 percent of the total award you receive under the VCF and other 9/11-related litigation.
  • Payment options — If you live within the United States, your payments will be issued via electronic deposit to your savings or checking account. However, the VCF will not issue electronic payments to foreign banks. If you live outside the United States, you will receive a check.

Barasch & McGarry is available to answer your questions about receiving and protecting your VCF compensation.

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Compensation available to residents and office workers, teachers and students – not just responders and volunteers
Our Attorneys
  • "Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson handled everything professionally and with patience. They always had time to answer all my questions and did what they promised. Thanks esp to Brian Calamaris Lee London, and Mariya Atanasova. Thank you." - William Collins, FDNY

  • "If I could give them six stars I would...don't even bother talking to anyone else concerning 9/11. The whole team worked night and day to deliver an outstanding settlement. They are honest, hard working and extremely professional. Just make the one phone call and let them do the rest." - Les Margulis, resident in the exposure zone

  • "I had a very good experience with Michael and Mariya. They made the process stress free. I would recommend this firm to anyone seeking assistance with 9/11 related illnesses." - JE Kirwan, worked in the exposure zone

  • "The people at this firm were just great. They were concern with making sure I was taken care of in every way possible. When I was given an award Mr. Barasch didn't think it was a fair amount and appealed the decision which got me a larger award. I am very satisfied with everything they did for me in the past and are willing to do for me and my family in the future." - Bob Wiecezak, FDNY-Retired

  • "Excellent law firm. Lee London and his staff were very responsive and always followed up with phone calls or emails. This firm is a strong example of what caring and personable lawyers are all about." - Letitia Egan, wife of client, volunteer in the exposure zone

  • Deadline Extended to Register for Compensation

    There is still time to apply for significant compensation if you have been diagnosed with any of the 68 cancers that doctors at the WTC Health Program (WTCHP) have linked to the WTC toxic dust. The deadline to apply to the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is two years from the date that a cancer has been certified by the WTC Health Program — or any other governmental agency. The two-year period to register doesn’t start on the day of a cancer diagnosis. Rather, it starts only when a cancer survivor is made aware their cancer was linked to exposure to the WTC toxins.

    For those who died from their WTC-linked cancers, the two-year period for their family to register starts on the day of the death of the WTC victim.

    Register For Compensation

Please help spread the word about the strict two-year deadline to register a claim

Many people have tried to complete the VCF application on their own, only to learn that it requires answers to hundreds of questions and many documents to download. It would be our pleasure to help you complete the process in order to ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to. Please call us for a free consultation.

Let a knowledgeable attorney help you figure it out

A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying. You undoubtedly have questions about your disease and how you will pay for treatment. Lawyers at Barasch & McGarry ensure you understand the complex requirements and help devise the best strategies for obtaining compensation and appropriate medical care under the Zadroga Act. Contact our law firm online or call 888-351-9421. The initial consultation is free, so it costs you nothing to find out whether a lawyer can help.
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