We were all disheartened to learn of drastic cuts being made by the Victim Compensation Fund. Due to inadequate funding, the Special Master announced on Friday that all claims still pending as of February 25, 2019, including claims and amendments filed and fully submitted years ago but not yet settled, will be reduced by 50-70%. The remedy is for Congress to reauthorize and fully fund the VCF by passing the “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act,” which will be reintroduced on February 25th. To that end, we encourage our clients, particularly those that reside outside New York, to contact their elected officials and express their support for the VCF.
A list of sitting members of Congress is available here:
In addition to the announced across-the-board cuts, the Special Master has redefined which non-cancer conditions will presumptively be awarded the statutory maximum award ($90,000). In so doing, the VCF will no longer issue the top award for COPD, Chronic Bronchitis, Barrett's Esophagus, or Obstructive Sleep Apnea, without medical evidence supporting the severity of those conditions. We encourage our clients to carefully document their conditions by treating and medicating appropriately. Absent sufficient evidence, the Fund will issue awards in the ten-to-twenty thousand dollar range.
As always, we are here to protect your rights and do everything we can to ensure that you receive the highest award for which you are eligible. We will update you as this situation develops. If you have any specific questions regarding your claim, please do not hesitate to contact us.