9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) Special Master Sheila Birnbaum issued an important new report this week on the status of claims processing for first responders and other victims of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. See the key dates on the 911 Zadroga Act Reauthorization Timeline here. The Special Master highlighted the fact that the Fund has now paid out over $1 billion in the last five years, including many WTC 9/11 cancer claims. It is clear that the Victim Compensation Fund has ironed out almost all the kinks the fund had initially, and victims are now receiving timely loss determination awards. See the Special Master’s May 2016 9/11 Claim Status Report here.
The following are some important accomplishments and milestones passed by the VCF since the Reauthorization:
Group A Claims
- Authorized full payments for expedited claims that do not have any issues preventing payment;
- Authorized full payments for claimants who previously received a 10% payment and do not have any issues preventing payment;
- Authorized 100% payments for claimants who have never received a VCF payment and do not have any issues preventing payment;
- Authorized payments for claimants who previously received a loss determination letter that included a notice of missing information;
- Group A payments completed (VCF activity complete) Department of Justice (DOJ) and Treasury Department finish processing Group A payments.
Group B Claims
- Reviewed Group B claims received prior to December 18, 2015 for completeness from oldest to most recent; sent Missing Information letters as needed; received and reviewed responses to missing information requests; calculated preliminary loss based on draft regulations; Public comment period ends Release sample new hard copy forms Complete Government review; publish Interim Final Rule effective June 15 and begin public comment period.
- Defined updated policies and procedures;
- Drafted updated regulations (including required updates to loss calculation methodology);
- Initiated official rule-making process – requires review and approval of regulations by various Government offices.
The new 9/11 VCF Message from Special Master Sheila Birnbaum clearly shows the impressive job the VCF is currently doing. I know many of you are still waiting patiently to receive your the financial awards you deserve. However, assuming you or your attorney have submitted all the information required for the VCF to make a loss determination in your case, you should be seeing light at the end of the tunnel shortly.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call us for a Free Claim Evaluation at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636). Have a great Memorial Day weekend!