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VCF Passes $6 Billion Milestone

January, 2020

The Special Master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund posts detailed program updates three times a year: once in May, with statistics through April 30; once in September, with statistics through August 31; and once in January, with statistics through December 31. She also posts more frequent monthly updates that, while less detailed than the tri-annual reports, provide more up-to-date information. According to the Special Master’s most recent monthly update (that of November 2019), the program has passed the $6 billion milestone. If you have questions about your eligibility for the VCF, contact a 9/11 lawyer today.

Our 9/11 Lawyer Discusses the Increased Support for the VCF

In July of this year, Congress passed the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act (the “Act”). This act extended the filing date for VCF claimants to 2090 — effectively making it “permanent,” as that date is well beyond the expected lifespans of those who were directly impacted by the events of 9/11. While the full effects of the Act are yet to be seen, it is likely that they will increase the VCF’s payouts due to several of its provisions. First, the Act removed the cap on appropriations that limited previous iterations of the VCF from fully compensating all victims. Second, the Act orders the Special Master to fully compensate all prior claimants whose awards were reduced due to past funding shortages. And third, it allows the Special Master to exceed the caps on non-economic damages ($250,000 for cancer and $90,000 for all other conditions) if she finds that the capped award amount is insufficient for the particular claimant. As such, it is likely that the VCF will have paid out larger amounts after the passage of the Act than it did before it.

There’s Plenty to Go Around

The Special Master’s most recent tri-annual update (that of September 2019) detailed how and to whom VCF awards were being paid out. According to the update total payouts for personal injury claims ($4,937,851,226.10) far outweigh payouts for deceased claims ($620,849,126.22). The mean dollar value of personal injury claims was $226,102.44, while the mean value of deceased claims was $677,782.89.

The report then broke down total payout amounts by category of claimant as follows (sorted from highest to lowest):

  • Responder – NYC: $4,273,923,287.01
  • Non-Responder NYC – other capacity: $888,702,178.73
  • Resident within NYC zone: $141,524,390.14
  • Non-Responder NYC – cleaning or maintenance work: $94,006,674.26
  • No Response: $75,241,165.43
  • NYC – Other Capacity: $58,116,927.22
  • Responder – Pentagon: $11,059,484.67
  • Attend school/childcare/adult care facility: $10,774,643.81
  • Non-Responder – Pentagon: $3,823,901.41
  • Responder – Shanksville: $1,527,699.64

While these numbers seem astronomically high, the Never Forget the Heroes Act ensures that all 9/11 victims will be fully compensated for the foreseeable future.

Contact a 9/11 Lawyer at Pitta & Baione to Start Your Claim

If you were a 9/11 first-responder or lived, worked, or studied in Lower Manhattan on 9/11, you may be entitled to compensation through the VCF. For more information, please contact a 9/11 lawyer at Pitta & Baione by using our online contact form or by calling us at 844-982-2667.