In cases involving terminal illness or imminent financial hardship, you can request that the VCF expedite the processing of your claim or amendment. If you would like to seek expedited processing of your claim or amendment based on a terminal diagnosis or financial hardship, you must contact the Helpline and upload the required documentation to your claim. The VCF will promptly review your request and notify you as to whether the request is granted or denied.
If you are requesting that your claim be expedited, you should submit a complete claim. This includes claiming all losses – economic and non-economic – at the time you submit your claim and request expedited processing. Please note that if you are claiming lost earnings and we expedite review of your claim, we will apply the same standards as we would in any other claim; expedition affects only the speed with which your claim is processed.
For financial hardship expedited claims only, we will remove the “Expedite” status from your claim once payment of your award has been made. Our assumption is that the payment has resolved or lessened your financial hardship and it is no longer appropriate to expedite your claim. This means if you decide to appeal the decision on the award, we will not expedite the scheduling of the hearing or the post-hearing determination. If you decide to appeal the award decision, and you believe the payment that has already been made does not resolve your financial hardship, you may submit an explanation and updated documentation and call our Helpline to request that we consider expediting your appeal. You must submit documentation with this request that demonstrates your ongoing financial hardship. We will review your request and notify you as to whether the request to expedite your appeal is granted or denied.
8.1 Financial Hardship
In order to be considered for financial hardship reasons, you must submit documentation showing that you face truly imminent, dire circumstances. The VCF may consider these circumstances to include active eviction proceedings, foreclosure, homelessness, or other imminent hardship, as demonstrated by current documentation. Your claim will not be expedited if you only have past due or unpaid bills. Your documentation must give the VCF a full picture of your current financial situation, including an explanation about your income, assets, and outstanding bills.
8.2 Terminal Illness
In order to be considered because of a terminal illness, you should submit your recent diagnostic medical records and a recent letter from your treating physician stating the terminal prognosis.
8.3 Amendments on Expedited Claims
If your claim was previously approved for expedited review based on terminal illness, you do not need to seek approval for expedited processing of your amendment, but you must call the VCF Helpline to alert us to the amendment. This is necessary so that the VCF can track the amendment for expedited processing. You do not need to upload another expedite request or additional documentation in cases expedited for terminal illness. If your claim was previously approved for expedited review due to financial hardship, you must submit a new request and updated documentation to support the request for any subsequent amendment.