In February 2019, Rupa Bhattacharyya, Special Master of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (“VCF”), formally announced that the VCF’s appropriated funding amount was insufficient to pay all pending and anticipated claims. This announcement set into motion several months of intense lobbying efforts, championed by John Feal, Ben Chevat and Jon Stewart, to convince Congress to pass a new bill allocating additional funds to the VCF.
Just five months later, the 9/11 community accomplished their goal. On July 29, 2019, President Trump signed into law the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act. This legislation ensures that the VCF is fully funded and will remain permanently open for those who become ill in the future and submit a claim by October 1, 2090.
The VCF is a federal fund created to provide compensation for any individual (or a personal representative of a deceased individual) who suffered physical harm as a result of exposure to the toxic environment in Lower Manhattan, and other areas where Ground Zero debris was taken, after 9/11.
To be eligible for financial compensation from the VCF, an individual must have been present in the “NYC Exposure Zone” between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002. The context of an individual’s presence is not at issue. In other words, the VCF covers anyone who was present: first responders (NYPD, FDNY, PAPD, Con Ed, Transit Authority, construction workers), volunteers, office workers, Lower Manhattan residents, and any other individuals who were present in the NYC Exposure Zone at any point in the nine months after 9/11.
Since 2011, The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has represented thousands of individuals and family members of deceased individuals in claims to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. For further information, start a chat through our website, email us at [email protected], or call us anytime at (212) 970-6500.