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Should I Register With the VCF If I’m Not Sick?

Even if you’re not sick, you can still register with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Registration does not obligate you to file a claim with the VCF, but it preserves your right to do so in the future. If you’re a responder or survivor who was present at one of the 9/11 terrorist attack sites, registering to file a claim can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve if you are diagnosed with cancer or any other 9/11-related condition in the future. Failure to register by the applicable deadline can result in your claim being denied and bar your right to VCF compensation.

What is the Registration Deadline if I’m Not Sick?

The earliest VCF registration deadline is July 29, 2021, and there is no requirement that you have an eligible condition at the time you register. In fact, if you were present in one of the NYC Exposure Zones between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002, VCF encourages you to register even if you have not been diagnosed with a VCF-eligible condition. Additionally, there are certain circumstances under which a survivor or responder may be able to file a claim after that date and still be timely.

Although The VCF encourages registration prior to the deadline to help them process claims as quickly as possible, survivors and responders may register to file a claim within two years of the latest date of certification of an eligible condition provided by the WTC Health Program. 

While those who are certified after the July 29, 2021 deadline have an extended time to register, it’s important to understand that if the WTC Health Program certified your eligible condition prior to July 29, 2019, you must register by the July 29, 2021 deadline.        

The extended deadline can help ensure compensation for those who were not sick prior to July 29, 2021, but develop a condition later, particularly in cases where the illness may not develop for many years — some 9/11 injuries and illnesses have long latency periods. For example, the minimum latency periods for cancers can range from 0.4 years for leukemia and lymphoma to 11 years for mesothelioma. 

Can I File a VCF Claim if I’m Not Sick?

It’s critical to know the difference between registering with the VCF and filing a claim for VCF compensation. Registering and filing a claim are two separate processes with different deadlines. While you must first register to file a claim, you are not required to file a claim by registering.

The VCF claim filing deadline has been extended to October 1, 2090, under the Permanent Authorization Act, and you must have an eligible condition certified by the WTC Health Program in order to file a claim. However, even if you aren’t sick or experiencing any symptoms of a 9/11-related illness, eligible responders and certified-eligible survivors may receive annual monitoring exams from the WTC Health Program.  

Contact a New York City 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney

If you were a 9/11 responder or survivor, it’s crucial to ensure that you understand that you may be entitled to compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Even if you aren’t sick, registering with the VCF can help protect your right to compensation in the future should you later develop a 9/11-related injury or illness.

Navigating the VCF regulations and understanding the deadlines to register and file a claim can be confusing, frustrating, and complicated. A 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorney who is knowledgeable about the deadlines and regulations involved can help you register with the VCF and guide you through the claim filing process to help ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorneys at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. have represented claimants and their families in 9/11 VCF claims for over a decade. For a free consultation, contact us today. 

John P. Dearie

John P. Dearie is a graduate of Regis High School, The University of Notre Dame, and St. John’s University School of Law. After working at a corporate law firm in New York City for two years following law school graduation, he joined The Dearie Law Firm in 2011.

John represents injured New Yorkers in third-party negligence litigations, as well as first responders, workers, volunteers and residents in claims to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.