On April 15, 2016, September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (“VCF”) Special Master Sheila Birnbaum issued an update on the VCF and the first quarterly report of 2016.
Special Master Birnbaum reiterated that the VCF’s main priority is paying all “Group A” claims as soon as possible. As detailed in our prior blog post regarding the reauthorized Zadroga Act, Group A claims include all claimants who received a loss determination letter on or before December 17, 2015. Of the total 9,131 claimants in Group A, the VCF has authorized 3,624 claims to be paid in full for a total of over $716 million in awards. Special Master Birnbaum projects that all 9,131 Group A claims will be finalized by June 2016.
The reauthorized Zadroga Act directs the VCF to publish new regulations by June 15, 2016. Special Master Birnbaum announced that the updated regulations have been drafted, and they are currently being reviewed by the federal government. After government review, the regulations will be posted for public comment. Pitta & Baione LLP will submit our comments at that time.
As the VCF gears up to begin processing Group B Claims in June 2016, they are currently recruiting more staff. Additionally, the VCF has revised their internal procedures to reflect the reauthorized Act, and updated their claim form to expedite the process. The federal government is currently accepting comments regarding the new claim form – Pitta & Baione LLP will submit comments regarding the updated form as well.
Call Pitta & Baione LLP at 1-844-WTC-COMP to speak with an attorney about whether you may be eligible for benefits under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.