The Fifth Annual Report of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) was just released with updated statistics. The report depicts real progress in providing the assistance that injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors depend upon.
Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya and her staff were commended by 9/11 Health Watch for the dedication they have shown in working to process claims and for their excellent work in cooperation with Ground Zero responders and survivors.
What is 9/11 Health Watch?
It took years to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2010 and to renew it in December 2015, but the struggle to ensure the proper and continued long-term commitment to the health and well-being of 9/11 responders, survivors, and their families endures.
The 9/11 Health Watch monitors the programs created by the law and are ready to address any lapses in delivery of services and if necessary, suggest changes to better serve the community of heroes, survivors, and their families. The organization is dedicated to making sure the nation remembers and cares for the heroes and survivors of the September 11, 2001 disaster.
Parker Waichman is a national law firm that has spent many years fighting to ensure that the heroes and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks are never forgotten. The firm is committed to helping anyone seeking legal information concerning a potential lawsuit.
VCF’s Fifth Annual Report
By the close of 2016, the VCF had made more than 11,500 determinations totaling $2.27 billion in compensation showing the continued substantial progress that the Fund has been making in processing claims and making determinations for compensation for injured and ill 9/11 responders, survivors and their families.
Progress the VCF is making will continue to be monitored by 9/11 Health Watch “to ensure that 9/11 responders, survivors who are still suffering from the impact of 9/11, now more than 15 years later, get the assistance they need and deserve as soon as possible,” according to the Report.
Statistics Reported on by the Special Master
As of December 31, 2016, of those who registered with the VCF, 25, 318 have submitted eligibility forms. Of those, 15,851 have been determined eligible for compensation, while 4,811 have been denied.
All “Group A” compensation determinations have been paid. There have been 2,424 “Group B” compensation determinations made.
Of the 9,125 Group A claims that have had determinations made, 7,732 have been for responders, 1,096 have been non-responders and 108 have been injured residents.
Of the 2,424 Group B claims that have had determinations made 1,876 have been for responders, 402 have been non-responders and 55 have been injured residents.
It is recognized that although there have been many accomplishments made in the last year, there is much work that remains to be done and that many of those who suffer as a result of the September 11th terrorist attacks, continue to wait for compensation.
In 2016, the VCF issued updated regulations, revised the claim form and online claim system, clarified policies and procedures, enhanced its staffing, reinforced its partnerships, implemented a priority system for deciding claims, and paid full compensation to more than 9,000 Group A claimants and nearly 2,500 Group B claimants, totaling nearly $2.27 billion. This was including more than 800 of the oldest claims submitted.
VCF Plans for 2017
The priority for 2017 remains the processing of claims, continuing to focus on issuing determinations on the oldest claims first. As the Annual Status Report details, as of December 31, 2016, over 3,200 compensation claims are currently in review where eligibility has been approved.
An additional 2,700 are awaiting eligibility review prior to beginning compensation review. Of these, almost 2,500 had compensation submitted in 2015 or even earlier. These 2,500 claims are the next priority. Although this is a significant number of claims, and nearly 75 percent are the more complex economic loss claims which take added time to decide, there is a commitment to decide these claims in 2017.
There are also nearly 800 compensation amendments that were submitted in 2015 or earlier. There is a continuation to prioritize the review of claims for claimants who have not received any award over those claimants who have already received some compensation. They will be handled in priority based on the date the amendment was filed.
Legal Help for Health Issues Related to Ground Zero
If you or someone you know have been experiencing health issues related to 9/11, you may have valuable legal rights. The personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).