There are two deadlines in the VCF’s claim filing process: a Claim Filing Deadline and a Registration Deadline. It is important to distinguish between the two and be aware of the deadlines that apply based on your individual circumstances.
The Claim Filing Deadline.
The “Never Forget the Heroes, James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act,” (“VCF Permanent Authorization Act”) fully funded the VCF and extended the VCF’s Claim Filing Deadline until October 1, 2090. The Claim Filing Deadline is the same for everyone. Although the VCF encourages you to file your claim after you have been certified by the World Trade Center (“WTC”) Health Program for a 9/11-related physical health condition and as soon as the full scope of your claimed losses are known so that your claim for compensation can be reviewed as quickly as possible, the last date on which anyone can file a claim is October 1, 2090.
The Registration Deadline.
There is a separate deadline by which you need to register with the VCF. Registration is not the same as filing a claim. Registration preserves the right to file your claim in the future, waives no legal rights, and does not obligate you to file a claim. Registration serves only to alert the VCF that you may be a potential claimant; and it meets the legal requirement of timeliness set forth in the law. You do not need to be sick or to have been diagnosed or certified with a 9/11-related condition in order to register. The VCF encourages you to register now.
The Registration Deadline is not the same for everyone. The Registration Deadline is determined according to claim type, and varies based on individual circumstances.
- ALL CLAIMS: If you registered a personal injury or deceased claim on or before July 29, 2021, you have met your registration deadline and your eventual claim, should you file one, will be determined to be timely filed.
- Personal Injury Claims: You are required to register within two years of the date on which a federal, state, or local government entity notifies you that your physical health condition is 9/11-related. In most cases, and for most claimants, the government entity providing this notification will be the WTC Health Program:
- If you are certified by the WTC Health Program for a physical health condition, the two-year registration period is counted from the date of the most recent certification.
- If you are not certified by the WTC Health Program, then the two years will be counted from the date that the New York Workers’ Compensation Board or one of the New York City employer pension funds (FDNY, NYPD, NCYERS) determined that you were eligible for 9/11-related benefits.
- If neither of the above applies, but you qualify for the VCF’s Private Physician Process and your condition is verified by the VCF as 9/11-related, then your registration deadline is deemed to have been met.
- If you are not certified by the WTC Health Program and have no other determination that your condition is 9/11-related, then you may register at any time.
- Deceased Claims: If the victim previously registered a personal injury claim by the applicable deadline, the deceased claim is automatically considered to have been timely registered. If the victim did not timely register a prior claim, the Personal Representative is required to register the deceased claim within two years of the later of these dates:
- Victim’s date of death – or –
- Date on which the VCF (through the Private Physician Process) verifies the condition that caused the death as 9/11-related.
For both personal injury and deceased claims, a new or subsequent government determination that a specific physical condition or injury is 9/11-related triggers a new two-year registration period.
When to Register and When to File a Claim.
You may register at any time, so long as you do so before your individual deadline as outlined above. The VCF encourages early registration for all potential claimants, even if you are not sick or certified by the WTC Health Program, as it helps us establish our priorities, plan for our work, and process all claims as quickly as possible. You may register online at www.claims.vcf.gov or over the phone by calling the VCF Helpline at 1-855-885-1555.
You should file your claim only after you have been certified by the WTC Health Program for a 9/11-related physical health condition. This could happen anytime between now and when the WTC Health Program closes in 2090. The VCF encourages you to file your claim after you have been certified and the full scope of your losses are known so that we can review your claim as quickly as possible to evaluate your eligibility for compensation. Claims can be filed at www.vcf.gov.