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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

Message from the Special Master on the 19th Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks

September 11, 2020
Dear Friends: This year, as we commemorate the 19th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, we do so with even heavier hearts as we see the added struggle of those with 9/11-related health conditions, and the particularly severe impact of COVID-19 in New York. We realize that in the months ahead, we are likely to see claims on behalf of those who have a 9/11-related condition and have suffered or died as a result of COVID-19. I want to take this opportunity to assure the 9/11 community that, as with all claims, we will review each case on its own facts in view of the laws governing the VCF. We have posted to our website a specific FAQ that explains how the VCF will evaluate claims where COVID-19 may have been a factor in an individual’s death, and we will be updating this information as needed.
Messages from the Special Master

Special Master’s Message—Clarification on VCF Registration and Claim Filing Deadlines

August 6, 2020

Dear Friends:  I wanted to reach out directly and clarify some confusion that has arisen in recent days about September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (“VCF”) deadlines.   

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 which applies to your individual circumstances.   

Messages from the Special Master

Special Master’s Message on the Anniversary of the Signing of the VCF Permanent Authorization Act

July 29, 2020
Today we mark the first anniversary of President Trump’s signing of H.R. 1327, the “Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act.”
Messages from the Special Master

Message from the Special Master - Anthony Gardner joins VCF as Director of Communications and External Affairs.

February 24, 2020
Anthony Gardner has joined the VCF as the Director of Communications and External Affairs, a new position created following the passage of the VCF Permanent Authorization Act.
Messages from the Special Master

A Message from the Special Master - Eighth Annual Status Report

February 19, 2020

This has been a year of many challenges, and significant changes for the VCF, greatest among them the July passage of 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”), which secured the VCF’s funding for claims and amendments filed through 2090 (see page 5).  This year also saw the departure of Deputy Special Master Jordy Feldman, who left the VCF after more than 10 years of superb and dedicated service.

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

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.