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Special Master’s Message on the Anniversary of the Signing of the VCF Permanent Authorization Act

July 29, 2020

Today we mark the first anniversary of President Trump’s signing of H.R. 1327, the “Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act.”  This historic legislation is a testament to the heroic responders, survivors, and advocates who worked tirelessly and selflessly to secure its passage, for which we continue to be grateful.  Enactment of the VCF Permanent Authorization Act created a path for the VCF to continue our vital work on behalf of the 9/11 community for decades to come, secure in the knowledge that we have the funding to pay all eligible claims.  We continue to recognize and appreciate the gravity of this tremendous vote of confidence from Congress and the President and the significant responsibility given to the VCF when this legislation became law.

Since last year’s Rose Garden bill signing ceremony, we have continued to concentrate on the review of claims and the determination of awards.  To date, the VCF has received 55,495 claims, and issued over 35,630 compensation determinations, for a total value of more than $6.92 billion dollars awarded.  This amount is only $450 million shy of the $7.375 billion limit on VCF funding that was lifted by the VCF Permanent Authorization Act, demonstrating the clear continuing value of this critical program beyond the original December 2020 claim filing deadline.

Even in these challenging times, the VCF is operational and fully committed to our mission.  Now more than ever, we are focused on remaining faithful to our statute, fair to claimants, and accountable to taxpayers, and to ensuring that the VCF has the appropriate structure and processes in place to uphold that charge until the October 1, 2090, claim filing deadline. 

As we commemorate this important milestone, I speak for the entire VCF team in thanking those who made this possible, and reaffirming our strong and unwavering commitment to honorably serving the 9/11 community.  Your enduring spirit will always be an inspiration to us as we continue our vital work and chart a course into the future.