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Documents Required by the VCF when the Claimant is not the Victim

Only those authorized by law or court order may pursue a claim on behalf of another individual.  In order to process a claim filed by someone other than the victim, the Special Master must first validate the individual’s authority to represent the victim for the VCF claim.  Different types of documentation are required depending on the representative’s relationship to the victim.  This document provides information on the types of representatives who may file a claim, and the required documents that must be submitted for the VCF to validate the individual as an authorized representative. 

The VCF does not require original documents, except as specified below.  To speed the processing of your claim, all documents should be uploaded to your online claim. 

Personal Representative for a Deceased Victim

  • Victim’s Death Certificate: If possible, please submit the “long form” version of the death certificate, which lists the cause of death.
  • Letters of Administration, Letters Testamentary, or other Court Order showing the appointment as the Personal Representative, Executor of Will, or Administrator of the Estate.
    • Your court order may include limitations.  Some limitations do not interfere with the VCF’s ability to validate the Personal Representative, while other limitations may impact the VCF’s ability to process the claim. See the Instructions for Letters of Administration with Limitations on the VCF website for more detailed information. 
    • If you submit Letters of Administration, Letters Testamentary, or other Court Order that includes limitations that interfere with the VCF’s ability to process or pay your claim, you will be advised in writing and given time to obtain the appropriate documentation.
    • In very limited circumstances where the Personal Representative is unable to obtain Letters of Administration, Letters Testamentary, or other Court Order, the Special Master may appoint a Personal Representative for purposes of the VCF claim.  You must first attempt to obtain an appointment from the state probate or surrogate court where the victim lived.  Please note that this option is generally available only when legal or geographical obstacles mean that the representative is unable to open an estate to obtain an appointment.  For more information, please see the information on Appointment of a Personal Representative on the VCF website.  
    • The VCF will need original Letters of Administration if you are filing a lost earnings claim on behalf of a deceased victim who was a member of the New York State and Local Retirement System ("NYSLRS"). A copy of the LOA will not be sufficient. For information about filing for lost earnings for NYSLRS members, please see section 2.2h in the Policies & Procedures.
  • Proof of Victim’s Cause of Death: This may be included on the victim’s death certificate.  If it is not included on the death certificate, other documents sufficient to show proof of cause of death may include a hospital discharge summary, or the victim’s final medical records.
  •  A complete Claim Form Signature Page: This must be signed by the Personal Representative.
  • If the Personal Representative has filed an amendment to a personal injury claim that was originally filed by the victim, a complete Claim Form Appendix A is required.

Claims with Co-Personal Representatives: Where the court has appointed multiple individuals as co-Personal Representatives for the decedent’s estate, the co-Personal Representatives must designate among themselves who will serve as the Lead Personal Representative (“Lead PR”).  The Lead PR is the individual who the VCF will primarily communicate with regarding the claim, and the individual to whom the VCF will issue any payment on the claim.  The “VCF Lead Personal Representative Designation Form” includes information about the role of the Lead PR, and a summary of the rights and responsibilities of the other co-Personal Representatives.  The form includes instructions for completing and submitting the form.   Section 6.5 of the VCF Policies and Procedures includes important information regarding the documentation that must be submitted, specific instructions for signing and submitting each of the required authorizations and forms, and an explanation of how any payment will be made on the claim.

Guardian of an Incapacitated Adult 

  • Court Order Appointing Guardianship:
    • Please note that the VCF does not generally accept Powers of Attorney to fulfill this requirement. 
  • A complete Claim Form Signature Page signed and initialed by the court-appointed guardian.
Last updated
June 22, 2023