If you or someone close to you has suffered physical injuries or illnesses directly from the 9/11 terrorist attack, you probably have heard about WTCHP and VCF. But you could be wondering what they are about and what they mean for your 9/11-related claim.
But you are not alone; many victims of injuries resulting from 9/11 learn about the WTCHP and VCF when diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness. This guide offers a comprehensive insight into the two programs, including how they matter to you if you have a 9/11-related illness diagnosis.
The Difference Between the Two
You will almost always hear about WTCHP any time WCF is mentioned and vice versa. While the two programs are related by the fact that the federal government created them to cater to the victims of 9/11, they serve distinct purposes.
Understanding the WTCHP
The WTCHP is a federal program that offers free medical services for victims of 9/11 for injuries and illnesses that are a direct result of 9/11. You do not have to wait until you feel sick to seek services from the WTCHP.
As long as you were in the vicinity of the World Trade Center at a time stipulated in the bill that created the program, you can benefit from it by going for checks and monitoring.
Understanding the VCF
The VCF deals with compensating victims of 9/11 for damages suffered as a direct result of the attack. The benefits a victim of 9/11 can recover from VCF include:
Cost of Medication
While the WTCHP offers free medical treatment for 9/11 victims, not all victims seek treatment through the program. Under such circumstances, the victim can seek compensation for funds spent on treating and managing their condition.
There are situations where 9/11-related illnesses such as respiratory illness and cancer prevent the victims from engaging in money-making activities, meaning they lose their wages. Depending on the severity of the illness, lost wages can be temporary or permanent. Either way, the victim has a right to seek compensation for lost wages.
The VCF program recognizes the toll 9/11-related illnesses diagnosis can have on victims. Therefore, the programs assigned a value to specific non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, PTSD. loss of life’s enjoyment, and strain on personal relationships.
Qualifications for VCF
All persons seeking compensation must meet the qualification threshold. The most important qualification is being in the exposure zone at the time of the attack or anytime not later than July 31, 2002.
Proving qualification for VCF can be challenging, and simple mistakes can lead to disqualification for compensation. Your best bet at getting the process on the first try is working with a team of lawyers specialized in 9/11 cases and having a history of getting fair compensation for their clients.
The FCF Claims Process
While there are several steps towards getting compensation for 9/11-related injuries, all the steps fall into two broad categories; registering with the VCF and filling the VCF benefits claim.
Registering with VCF
Registering for the VCF is the preliminary step of the claims process, which you can complete online on the VCF’s website.
For persons diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness from 2001 to June 29, 2019, the VCF registration deadline was June 29, 2021. The registration deadline is two years after a diagnosis for persons that received a diagnosis later than June 29, 2019.
Filling for the VCF benefits
After registering with the VCF, you have a right to file a claim anytime from the registration date to October 1, 2090, when the VCF fund will cease being operational.
If successful with your claim, the VCF will authorize your compensation. If not, it is denied, but you can appeal the decision.
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