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News

Messages from the Special Master

Message from the Special Master – Rupa Bhattacharyya Farewell

April 29, 2022

Dear Friends,

Messages from the Special Master

Message from the Incoming Special Master - August Flentje named Special Master for an interim period

April 29, 2022

It is an honor to step into the role of Special Master on an interim basis while the process to identify Rupa Bhattacharyya’s permanent successor is identified.  I have been a career civil service attorney with the Department of Justice since 1998, and have managed several Civil Division components for temporary periods, including the branch that has responsibility over the operations of the VCF.  In that capacity, I’ve worked with Rupa to help address issues that arise in the management of the VCF and am familiar with its functions and operation.  I look forward to working with the VCF aga

Messages from the Special Master

Message from the Special Master – Kimberly (Kim) C. Brown Joins the VCF as the Director of Operations

February 24, 2022

Kimberly (Kim) C. Brown has joined the VCF as the Director of Operations. In this new position, Kim will focus on overseeing the VCF’s day-to-day operations in areas such as the Helpline and the processing of hard copy mail, identifying opportunities for innovation as the VCF continues to move into its long-term status stemming from the passage of the VCF Permanent Authorization Act.

Messages from the Special Master

Message from the Special Master - Tenth Annual Status Report

February 9, 2022

The VCF successfully navigated another highly productive year in 2021, in a year that saw not one but two significant anniversaries: the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Zadroga Act, which created in the VCF, in January, and then the solemn reminder months later that twenty years have passed since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Messages from the Special Master

A Message from Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya

October 2, 2018

Dear Friends,

When Congress reauthorized the VCF in 2015, it extended the time for individuals to submit new claims – as well as amendments on existing claims – until December 18, 2020. The Reauthorization Act also directed me, as the Special Master, to periodically reassess the VCF’s policies and procedures to make sure that we prioritize claims for individuals who suffer from the most debilitating physical conditions, and that we do not exceed the $7.375 billion in funds appropriated to the VCF.

Messages from the Special Master

A Message from Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya

July 24, 2018

Dear Friends,

When I stepped into the role of Special Master two years ago, I was focused on our number one priority: to process and pay claims with thoughtful consideration and without unnecessary delay. Although I knew there were challenges ahead, I was eager to build on the progress the VCF team had made since the passage of the Zadroga Act in 2010 and its reauthorization in December 2015.

Messages from the Special Master

Message from Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya

May 10, 2018

Dear Friends,

As a team, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (“VCF”) remains committed to awarding compensation as quickly and fairly as possible, and to handling each claim with the individual attention it deserves. The program statistics report we are issuing today reflects the strong and steady progress of the VCF under its current leadership team.

Messages from the Special Master

Message from Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya

February 13, 2018

Dear Friends

Today, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (“VCF” or “Fund”) publishes its Sixth Annual Status Report and the second Annual Reassessment of Policies and Procedures required under the terms of the Reauthorized Zadroga Act, Pub. L. No. 114-113 (Dec. 18, 2015). The report details the activities, advances, and accomplishments of a very productive year at the VCF.

Messages from the Special Master

Message from Special Master Sheila Birnbaum - VCF Reauthorization

December 30, 2015

Dear Friends,

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law a bill reauthorizing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. This includes reauthorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (“VCF”) for another 5 years, which will benefit individuals impacted by the events of 9/11 and its aftermath.

Messages from the Special Master

Mensaje de la Auxiliar Judicial Sheila Birnbaum – Reautorización VCF

December 30, 2015

Estimados Amigos,

El 18 de diciembre del 2015, el Presidente Obama firmó la reautorización la Ley James Zadroga 11-S de Salud y Compensación. Esto incluye la reautorización del Fondo de Compensación de las Victimas del 11 de Septiembre (VCF por sus siglas en inglés) por 5 años más, el cual beneficiará a los individuos afectados por los eventos y secuelas del 9/11. 

Messages from the Special Master

Komunikat pani Syndyk Sheili Birnbaum dotyczący reaktywacji Funduszu VCF

December 30, 2015

Szanowni Państwo,  

18 grudnia 2015 r., Prezydent Obama podpisał przepisy reaktywujące Ustawę im. Jamesa Zadrogi o opiece zdrowotnej i odszkodowaniach dla ofiar 9/11 (James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act) uchwaloną w 2010 r. Dotyczy to również reaktywacji Funduszu Odszkodowań dla Ofiar 11 września (September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, VCF) na następne 5 lat, którego celem jest pomoc osobom dotkniętym wydarzeniami z 11 września i ich następstwami.  

Messages from the Special Master

来自特别监察官希拉∙伯恩鲍姆(Sheila Birnbaum)的消息——VCF 再次获批准

December 30, 2015

亲爱的朋友们: 

2015 年 12 月 18 日,奥巴马总统签署了一项法案,再次批准《2010 年詹姆士·扎德罗伽 9/11 健 康与赔偿法案》。这包括再次批准未来五年的 9/11 受害人赔偿基金(VCF),而受 9/11 事件及 其余波影响的人员将因此而受益。 

新法指示 VCF“尽快”向“A 组索赔”(即 2015 年 12 月 17 日或之前做出损失判定的索赔)的 索赔人支付“全额赔偿”。为满足此要求,我已调动额外工作人员去支持支付流程,从而在不影 响对我们的项目有至关重要的质量控制措施的前提下迅速支付相关款项。 

新法同时也要求对 VCF 有关评估 B 组索赔和计算相关损失的政策和流程做出重要改动。B 组索赔 即不属于新法所界定的 A组索赔的索赔。新法规定针对合格 B 组索赔人的资金。我正与我的团队 一起工作,以确定新法对索赔人以及我们的日常运作的影响。 

在制定新的政策及流程的同时,我们也在重新评估提出索赔所需的文件(包括索赔表和附加材 料)、提出和审查索赔的系统以及在我们网站上公布的信息。我将此看作复审我们的索赔表、重 新设计我们的在线系统并调整相关流程的机会,从而满足新的要求,并提高我们的工作效率。

Messages from the Special Master

Message from Special Master Sheila Birnbaum

September 9, 2015

This September 11th, the Victim Compensation Fund (“VCF”) focuses its attention on the work that remains ahead of us. Our commitment to this work is the most important way the Fund can honor the sacrifice of those who were lost on September 11, 2001, and those who continue to struggle.

Messages from the Special Master

Message from Special Master Sheila Birnbaum

July 20, 2015

I am proud to announce that the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has made loss determinations of more than $1.3 billion. As of June 30, 2015, the VCF has approved 11,770 eligibility claims and made 5,636 loss decisions, totaling $1,310,149,991. First responders account for 91 percent of the total loss amount. Individuals with cancer diagnoses account for 18 percent of the awards. This information and additional updated program statistics are available.

Messages from the Special Master

Message from Special Master Sheila Birnbaum

April 8, 2015

I am proud to announce that the VCF has made loss determinations of more than $1 billion. As of March 31, 2015, the VCF has approved 10,549 eligibility claims and rendered 4,415 loss decisions, totaling $1,058,398,144. First responders account for 92 percent of the total loss amount. Individuals with cancer diagnoses account for 27 percent of the awards. This information and additional updated program statistics are available.

Messages from the Special Master

Special Notice Regarding Denied Claims

February 9, 2015

The VCF will deny eligibility claims when claimants do not respond to multiple requests for missing information. Many eligibility claims are submitted without required supporting documents. The VCF makes multiple attempts to work with the claimant and/or the attorney to obtain the necessary supporting documentation so that the VCF can determine eligibility. If the claimant does not respond to this outreach (after a minimum of two requests) the VCF will deny the eligibility claim.

Messages from the Special Master

Message from Special Master Sheila Birnbaum

January 15, 2015

Today, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) issued updated program statistics. As of Jan. 2, 2015, the VCF has found 9,677 claimants eligible for compensation and has made 3,128 compensation determinations (approximately 67 percent of the compensation claims that have been submitted with appropriate supporting documentation). The total value of those compensation determinations is $804,116,233.

Messages from the Special Master

A Message from Special Master Sheila Birnbaum

October 17, 2014

Fiscal Year 2014 was a very productive year at the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. In our first two years, we were focused on everything required to start a significant new program, including hiring staff, developing claim forms and ways to process those forms, and reaching out to prospective claimants to file their claims. This year, we were focused on processing and paying claims, and we have seen positive results.

Messages from the Special Master

A Message from Special Master Sheila Birnbaum

September 9, 2014

Every year on September 11th we reflect on the lives that were forever changed by that terrible day. At the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, we are working harder than ever to assist the survivors who have been injured as a result of 9/11. We have made great strides in the past year, resulting in 7,885 claimants being found eligible to receive compensation and issuing 1,843 compensation decisions totaling $493,768,674. But this somber anniversary is, for the Fund, not a moment to pause, but rather a reminder that we must increase our efforts and build on our recent progress.

Messages from the Special Master

A Message from Special Master Sheila Birnbaum

July 3, 2014

Today, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) issued updated program statistics. This report shows the progress we have made over the past few months. As of June 30, 2014, the VCF has issued 7,075 eligibility decisions and 1,145 compensation decisions. For the second quarter in a row, the number of issued compensation decisions has increased by more than 100% over the previous quarter.

Messages from the Special Master

A Message from Special Master Sheila Birnbaum

April 10, 2014
Updated VCF Program Statistics and Nell McCarthy joins VCF Leadership Team.
Messages from the Special Master

A Message from Special Master Sheila Birnbaum - First VCF Appeal Hearings Convened

February 10, 2014

I am pleased to announce that the first VCF appeal hearings were held on January 29, 2014 at the VCF office in New York City.

All claimants have the opportunity to appeal the VCF decision if their claim is denied as ineligible due to such circumstances as missing proof of presence, or if a particular injury or illness is denied as ineligible. A claimant also has the opportunity to appeal a compensation calculation.