After years of dedicated advocacy and emotional debate, new legislation has extended the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund through the year 2090. Under the law, signed by President Trump on July 29, the VCF will continue to offer substantial relief to victims suffering from medical conditions as well as individuals who might not yet be aware of their exposure-related illnesses. Now, instead of worrying about funds running out or an impending deadline to file VCF claims, first responders, office workers, students, residents and survivors who were in the World Trade Center area during and after the 2001 attacks can concentrate on pursuing the relief available to them.
The legislation comes in the nick of time. More than $5 billion of the $7.3 billion that was previously designated for the VCF has been spent and claims continue to pour in. Among those who will benefit from the extension of the fund are:
- Victims who received reduced compensation — Due to depletion of the VCF, nearly 1,700 claimants were shorted on their recoveries. Firm founder Michael Barasch told The Chief-Leader that the special master has committed to paying reduced award recipients the remainder of what they are owed once the Treasury funds the VCF account. But this likely won’t happen until the end of this year at the earliest, Barasch said.
- Individuals suffering from cancer and other long-term conditions — Claimants affected by 9/11-related medical problems of long duration will no longer have to worry about limits or their condition lasting longer than the fund.
- People who have not yet been diagnosed — Cancer, respiratory issues and other problems caused by breathing toxic substances can take decades to identify and diagnose. The hard December 2020 deadline would have left people who discovered their condition after that date without compensation.
Although the new law is a tremendous accomplishment that will positively affect numerous lives, securing benefits can still be a challenging process. Retaining an attorney who has produced great results in VCF claims will help you overcome obstacles and assert your rights effectively under the program.
Barasch & McGarry represents victims of 9/11 illnesses in Victim Compensation Fund claims and related matters. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 888-351-9421 or contact us online.