The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund ("VCF") was created to provide compensation for any individual (or a personal representative of a deceased individual) who suffered physical harm or was killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001 or the debris removal efforts that took place in the immediate aftermath of those crashes. The original VCF operated from 2001-2004.

On January 2, 2011, President Obama signed into law the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (Zadroga Act). Title II of the Zadroga Act reactivated the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The reactivated VCF opened in October 2011 and was authorized to operate for a period of five years, ending in October 2016.

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law a bill reauthorizing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. This included the reauthorization of the VCF. The new law extends the VCF for five years, allowing individuals to submit their claims until December 18, 2020. The law also includes some important changes to the VCF’s policies and procedures for evaluating claims and calculating each claimant’s loss. Click here for more information on the reauthorization.

Laws & Regulations

Documents related to the Victim Compensation Fund can be accessed through the links listed below.

Interim Final Rule and updated Regulations (2016) *NEW*

Comparison of original and updated Regulations (2016) *NEW*

Congressional memo regarding reauthorization (PDF) - this is a memo prepared for Senator Gillibrand that provides a side-by-side comparison of the provisions of the WTCHP and VCF in current law at the time of reauthorization (prior law) and the changes made by reauthorization legislation (current law); a section-by-section summary of the WTCHP and VCF reauthorization provisions as enacted; and a plain language summary of the changes to the WTCHP and VCF as enacted.

Zadroga Act Reauthorization Statute (2015)

Comparison of 2010 statute and Reauthorization (2015)

Regulations (2011)

Zadroga Act (2010)

VCF 1 Statute (2001)


Sheila Birnbaum Sheila Birnbaum, a life-long New Yorker, has decades of experience resolving complicated litigation. She gained recognition for her work mediating a settlement of $500 million for 92 families of victims of the September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Birnbaum grew up in the Bronx, the daughter of a grocery store owner in Harlem. She attended James Monroe High School and later attended college. She taught the fourth grade at P.S. 62 in the Bronx before attending NYU Law School. Since law school, she has taught at both Fordham Law School and NYU Law School, where she became Associate Dean. She is now a partner at a New York law firm.

Birnbaum has an extensive career in public service. She has served on the New York State Judicial Commission on Minorities; as Executive Director for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s Task Force for Racial, Ethnic and Gender Fairness; and as President of the New York Women’s Bar Association.

In 2006, 9/11 victims and corporate defendants jointly asked Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein to appoint Birnbaum to mediate 95 wrongful death and personal injury cases.

Messages from the Special Master