Following initial concerns about the level of participation in the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)—along with questions about the fund’s ability to adjudicate and pay claims in a timely manner—the VCF’s operations have sped up significantly since its annual report issued in November 2013.
In January 2014, VCF administrators publicized statistics showing that the number of claims processed has increased exponentially in just two months:
- More than 1,750 eligibility decisions have been rendered between November 22, 2013, and January 28, 2014. Prior to November 22, 2013, only 2,536 decisions had been issued.
- The VCF has rendered eligibility decisions on nearly 77 percent of the completed applications it received.
- The VCF has rendered final compensation decisions on an additional 211 cases between November 22, 2013, and January 28, 2014. Prior to November, the VCF had issued only 112 compensation decisions.
- The VCF has rendered compensation decisions on approximately 44 percent of the reviewable compensation packets it received.
- Compensation awards issued have ranged from $10,000 at the low end to nearly $2.8 million at the high end.
- More than 300a final compensation decisions have been issued to NYC first responders.
Anyone who has ever dealt with a government bureaucracy knows that the delays and red tape can be interminable. Despite a somewhat slow start, however, the VCF apparatus now appears to be working beautifully. Nevertheless, many applicants are having their eligibility or compensation applications returned without a decision because they do not have enough information or otherwise fail to conform to program requirements. Having a VCF compensation attorney on your side can help avoid these mistakes as well as the delays — and even denials — that might come with them.