The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund ("VCF") was created 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. The original VCF operated from 2001-2004.
History of the VCF
On January 2, 2011, President Obama signed into law the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (Zadroga Act). Title II of the Zadroga Act reactivated the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The reactivated VCF opened in October 2011 and was authorized to operate for a period of five years, ending in October 2016.
On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law a bill reauthorizing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. This included the reauthorization of the VCF. The new law extends the VCF for five years, allowing individuals to submit their claims until December 18, 2020. The law also includes some important changes to the VCF’s policies and procedures for evaluating claims and calculating each claimant’s loss:
- Capped non-economic loss that results from a cancer at $250,000.
- Capped non-economic loss that does not result from a cancer at $90,000.
- Instructed the Special Master to prioritize claims for victims who are determined by the Special Master to be suffering from the most debilitating physical conditions.
- For purposes of calculating economic loss, capped Annual Gross Income (“AGI”) at $200,000 for each year of loss.
- Removed the $10,000 minimum award.
On February 15, 2019, the Special Master determined that the funding remaining in the VCF would be insufficient to pay all pending and projected claims under current VCF policies and procedures and, consequently, announced modifications to VCF policies consistent with her statutory obligations.
On July 29, 2019, President Trump signed into law H.R. 1327, The Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The VCF Permanent Authorization Act extends the VCF’s claim filing deadline from December 18, 2020, to October 1, 2090, and appropriates such funds as may be necessary to pay all eligible claims. Please see the VCF Permanent Authorization Act page for more details.
Laws and Regulations
Documents related to the Victim Compensation Fund can be accessed through the links listed below.
- H.R. 1327 - Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act
- Notice of Inquiry as published by the Special Master in the Federal Register on October 3, 2018.
- Final Rule has been published (2016)
- Interim Final Rule and updated Regulations (2016)
- Comparison of original and updated Regulations (2016)
- 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.
- Zadroga Act Reauthorization Statute (2015)
- Comparison of 2010 statute and Reauthorization (2015)
- Regulations (2011)
- Zadroga Act (2010)
- VCF 1 Statute (2001)