The Victim Compensation Fund accepts a few different kinds of proof of presence, but for most claimants, the best evidence is two affidavits. These affidavits should come from people, preferably non-family members, who personally witnessed you in the NYC Exposure Zone between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002. To be accepted as proof, affidavits should explain when specifically the affiant saw you, where they saw you, why they were in the zone, why you were in the zone, and what you both were doing there.
As far as who should fill out these affidavits, almost anybody who regularly witnessed you downtown will do. Responders and area workers can ask any of the colleagues or supervisors they worked with that year. Residents can ask former neighbors, friends they saw in the area on a regular basis, people they took after-work classes with, or even staff members at the stores they shopped with frequently. Former students can ask classmates, teachers, professors, or administrators they interacted with. Anybody who was with you downtown on a regular basis, and is of legal age, can fill out an affidavit – they don’t even need to be notarized as long as they include this language:
“I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on [date affidavit is signed]. [Affiant’s Signature]”
One note is that, except under certain circumstances (like, perhaps, the claimant was a small child at the time) affidavits from family members will not suffice. It’s better to ask people you lived near, worked, or attended school with if you can find them.
We recommend that anybody who is eligible for the fund, whether or not they are currently sick, get their affidavits filled out now. It gets harder to find former colleagues, neighbors, and classmates as time goes on. We can provide you with a simple affidavit form that’s easy to fill out and doesn’t require a notary.
You are welcome to download a blank affidavit at Proof of Presence Affidavit.