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Who Can Submit a Claim on Behalf of a Deceased Responder or Survivor?

In most cases, the families of individuals who are incapacitated or deceased as a result of a VCF-eligible condition are able to file a claim on the victim’s behalf. Regardless of their family relationship to the victim, however, people filing a claim on behalf of a deceased victim must prove that they have the legal authority to do. They can do this by providing court documentation that shows that they have been named the victim’s Executor, Administrator of the Estate, or in the event that there is no will, that they are the person the court recognizes as having authority over the estate.

In these cases, the VCF Special Master is essentially looking for proof that whoever files or continues a VCF claim on behalf of a deceased claimant is an authorized representative of the victim’s estate and able to accept payments on their behalf. When there is more than one Personal Representative for a given estate, a “Lead Personal Representative” has to be selected and both co-Personal Representative should submit a signed and notarized statement recognizing which one of them they’ve selected to be deal with the VCF. This is incredibly important because the VCF makes payment directly to the appointed Personal Representative. Once a representative’s authority has been recognized, the VCF does not have any purview over how the payout is distributed among family or spent so it’s important that the person be an appropriate legal representative of the deceased.

Naturally there are sometimes complications that arise as estates are settled. Periodically there are circumstances in which a deceased victim’s Personal Representative has limited rights when it comes to either waiving the victim’s ability to participate in certain kinds of lawsuits or collecting large payments on behalf of the victim. In those situations the VCF offers detailed guidance about next steps on their website.

There are also periodically special circumstances in which a Personal Representative isn’t able to get the court documents necessary for geographic or legal reasons. In those cases the Special Master will sometimes appoint a Personal Representative for the purposes of the VCF claim or make alternate arrangements based on the specific circumstances. These situations are rare, however, and consulting an experienced VCF attorney can be helpful.

Make sure your family is able to collect the compensation they’re entitled to.  Make sure that you sign a Will that appoints an executor of your estate and that you list your beneficiaries. Our firm does free Wills and Health Care Proxies for our clients. Take advantage of our offer.

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  • "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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