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5.1 If I am certified for a new condition by the WTC Health Program after my award was issued, or if I have a new loss, can I amend my application?

Question
5.1 If I am certified for a new condition by the WTC Health Program after my award was issued, or if I have a new loss, can I amend my application?
Effective Date
Answer

Yes, you can amend your personal injury claim to add a new condition or to claim a new loss at any time prior to October 1, 2090. You can find complete instructions on How to File an Amendment under “Forms and Resources” on our website. In a deceased claim (i.e., claims filed on behalf of a victim who died as a result of his or her 9/11-related eligible condition), you will not be permitted to amend your claim after the VCF finalizes substantive review of the compensation claim (with limited exceptions). Additional information specific to amendments for deceased claims can be found in Section 5 of the VCF Policies and Procedures document.

The VCF will review the information you submit with your amendment and will notify you of the outcome of our review. If the VCF finds you eligible for compensation for the new condition and you are seeking additional loss related to the condition, you must also file a compensation amendment.

Please note: the amount of your VCF non-economic loss award is not based on the number of certified conditions you have, but rather on the severity and impact of those conditions on your daily life. In many cases, being found eligible for additional conditions will not change the amount of your VCF award unless the new condition is a cancer and the compensation already awarded was based only on non-cancer conditions.

There are certain situations when amending your claim will not result in a change to your award. Listed below are examples to consider before filing an amendment.

  • Amendments seeking additional non-economic loss: Except in limited circumstances, if you already received a non-economic loss award at the statutory cap ($90,000 for non-cancer conditions and $250,000 for cancer), claiming a new condition will not change your non-economic loss award. You may file an eligibility amendment to add the new condition and the VCF will determine if it is considered eligible, but you should not file a compensation amendment to seek additional non-economic loss. The limited circumstances in which the VCF may award additional non-economic loss include if you are claiming a cancer where one was not previously considered in the award or if you were previously compensated for a cancer and are claiming a non-cancer condition that the Special Master has identified as presumptively severe and debilitating, as listed in Section 2.1(a) of the VCF Policies and Procedures document.

  • Amendments on claims with large collateral offsets: If your initial award determination was reduced by collateral offsets, you should consider whether these offsets will exceed the new loss you are seeking. If your offsets are substantially higher than the loss you are claiming through the amendment, the amendment will not result in a change to your net total award. For example, if you received a $350,000 settlement payment from a 9/11-related lawsuit, and are only seeking additional non-economic loss, you should not file an amendment as the non-economic loss awarded will not exceed the amount of this offset.

If you are represented by an attorney and are unsure whether your amendment will result in a substantial change in your award, we encourage you to discuss the amendment with your attorney. If you are not represented, the VCF Helpline can assist you in deciding whether to submit the amendment.

For more detailed information on how the VCF calculates awards, see the VCF Policies and Procedures document.

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