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A Message from Special Master, Sheila Birnbaum, on the importance of filing a complete claim

August 15, 2012

Dear Claimants,

Our team is working hard to review claims and make eligibility determinations. Some of you have already received letters telling you that you are eligible for compensation. Many others will receive those letters in the coming weeks.

As we conduct these reviews, we have noticed that many submitted claims are missing critical information and the supporting documentation needed for us to make a decision.

We cannot complete our review of your claim without having certain documents that must be mailed to us in their original form -- even if you have completed your application online. For example, attestations, exhibits and any affidavits must be submitted by mail. Many of you have received letters from us explaining what is missing from your claim. We appreciate your prompt response to these requests so we can complete our review.

We encourage you to review in detail the Claim Form Instructions and corresponding checklists, the "How To" video tutorials, and the Tip Sheet created to help you avoid common errors when filing your claim. If you have not provided a required document, you may upload or mail it to us at any time. If you review your claim to make sure it is complete, and send any missing information as soon as you can, it will help the VCF to process your claim faster and more efficiently.

As always, if you have questions about the process or about what documents must be sent to us, please refer to the VCF website (www.vcf.gov) or call our toll-free Helpline at 1-855-885-1555. For the hearing impaired, please call 1-855-885-1558 (TDD). If you are calling from outside the United States, please call 1-202-353-0356.