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How to Prove You Were Present at a 9/11 Crash Site

September, 2020

September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) benefits are limited to individuals who were physically present at a 9/11 crash site on September 11, 2001, or within a few months thereafter. However, proving that you were in a certain location during a certain timeframe nearly 20 years ago can be a daunting task, and is one that many VCF claimants struggle with. But the VCF allows many types of evidence for this purpose. Our 9/11 victims lawyers outline some of the most common such evidence below. 

Relevant Locations and Timeframe  

To be eligible for VCF benefits, you must have been present in one of the following locations: 

  1. 9/11 crash sites, including the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon site, or the Shanksville, PA site, or the buildings or portions of buildings that were destroyed as a result of the crashes. 
  2. The NYC Exposure Zone, generally consisting of the area of Lower Manhattan below Canal Street, as well as along the routes of debris removal and Fresh Kills landfill.

You must also have been present at any of these sites at the time of or “in the immediate aftermath” of the 9/11 crashes, which the Zadroga Act defines as “any period beginning with the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, and ending on May 30, 2002.” There is no minimum amount of time that you must have been present in these areas during the relevant time frame. 

Acceptable Documentation

The VCF accepts a wide range of documents confirming your presence in the relevant locations and timeframe, including: 

  • Letters from your employer confirming your work at the site
  • Official personnel rosters
  • A sworn Employer Verification Form 
  • Pay stubs confirming your employment and listing your employer’s address within the NYC Exposure Zone
  • Leases, proof of rent payments, mortgage receipts, or utility bills that list your residential address within the NYC Exposure Zone 
  • School or daycare records confirming that you were enrolled during the relevant time period
  • Medical records showing treatments for injuries that occurred at the site
  • Worker’s injury reports documenting your treatment as a result of an injury that occurred at the site
  • Personal statements with as much detail as possible

If you do not have any of the above forms of documentation because they do not exist or they were misplaced or destroyed, you may also submit proof in the form of an affidavit in support of your presence at the site. This affidavit must be signed by an individual (known as an “affiant”) who has personal knowledge of your presence at a 9/11 crash site either through personal observation or as a result of ordering you there for work-related duties. If you plan to use affidavits to prove your presence, you must submit affidavits from at least two people, one of whom must be from an individual who is not related to you. 

Contact our 9/11 Victims Lawyers for Further Assistance 

If you are having difficulty proving your presence at a 9/11 crash site to the VCF, an experienced attorney can help you gather the evidence you need. For more information, please contact the 9/11 victims lawyers at Pitta & Baione by using our online contact form or by calling us at 844-982-2667.