Important Notice: On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law a bill reauthorizing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. This includes the reauthorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (“VCF”). The reauthorization puts in place a new law that extends the VCF for five years and includes some important changes to the VCF’s policies and procedures for evaluating claims and calculating each claimant’s loss. The new law requires the Special Master to publish updated regulations governing the VCF no later than June 15, 2016. Click here for more information on the reauthorization.

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On January 2, 2011, President Obama signed into law the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-347) (Zadroga Act). Title II of the Zadroga Act reactivates the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 that operated from 2001-2004 and requires a Special Master, appointed by the Attorney General, to provide compensation for any individual (or a personal representative of a deceased individual) who suffered physical harm or was killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001 or the debris removal efforts that took place in the immediate aftermath of those crashes.

On May 18, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Sheila L. Birnbaum will head the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund program. On August 31, 2011, the Special Master published the Final Rule for the operation of the VCF in the Federal Register.

Title I of the Zadroga Act created the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program, which is operated by NIOSH. For more information on the WTC Health Program, please click here.

Law & Final Rule

Please find additional documents related to the Victim Compensation Fund below.


Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act - Public Law 107-42, September 22, 2001 (PDF)- this document shows in "redline" version the updates to the statute that were enacted as part of the December 18, 2015 reauthorization of the VCF

Congressional memo regarding reauthorization (PDF) - this is a memo prepared for Senator Gillibrand that provides a side-by-side comparison of the provisions of the WTCHP and VCF in current law at the time of reauthorization (prior law) and the changes made by reauthorization legislation (current law); a section-by-section summary of the WTCHP and VCF reauthorization provisions as enacted; and a plain language summary of the changes to the WTCHP and VCF as enacted.

The first document below is the law as signed in 2010. The second document is the law reauthorizing the VCF that was signed on December 18, 2015. Because the new law only specifies the changes to the 2010 law, the documents should be read together to identify the changes as a result of the reauthorization.

James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-347) (Zadroga Act) (PDF)

James Zadroga 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Reauthorization (PDF)

Final Rule

Final Rule: 2011 Victim Compensation Fund (PDF) - please note this document has not yet been updated to reflect the new law that became effective December 18, 2015

Sheila Birnbaum Sheila Birnbaum, a life-long New Yorker, has decades of experience resolving complicated litigation. She gained recognition for her work mediating a settlement of $500 million for 92 families of victims of the September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Birnbaum grew up in the Bronx, the daughter of a grocery store owner in Harlem. She attended James Monroe High School and later attended college. She taught the fourth grade at P.S. 62 in the Bronx before attending NYU Law School. Since law school, she has taught at both Fordham Law School and NYU Law School, where she became Associate Dean. She is now a partner at a New York law firm.

Birnbaum has an extensive career in public service. She has served on the New York State Judicial Commission on Minorities; as Executive Director for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s Task Force for Racial, Ethnic and Gender Fairness; and as President of the New York Women’s Bar Association.

In 2006, 9/11 victims and corporate defendants jointly asked Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein to appoint Birnbaum to mediate 95 wrongful death and personal injury cases.

Messages from the Special Master