(Before It's News)
September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya announced that the VCF began payments today on Group B claims after the funding to pay became available on Oct. 1 as set forth in the 2015 Reauthorization Act of the VCF. Group A claims are claims for which a loss was determined and a letter notifying the claimant of the award decision on the claim was issued on or before Dec. 17, 2015. Group B claims are those that are not in Group A.
The VCF has been preparing to issue Group B payments for several weeks and the Special Master has authorized more than 500 claims for payment. Payments will be made first to those with exigent circumstances and then in order based on the date the claimant was notified of his or her award. Once the Department of Justice provides the payment information to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, it may take up to three weeks for the payment to be made to the claimant’s designated bank account.
“In the last 10 weeks since I transitioned into the role of Special Master, the VCF has issued determinations on more than 900 compensation claims and amendments and just under 1,200 eligibility claims and amendments,” said Special Master Bhattacharyya. “This reflects the overall hard work done by the VCF team over the last several months and continues to demonstrate our progress and commitment to the 9/11 community and to providing deserved compensation to those who have suffered as a result of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.”
The VCF continues to focus on processing Group B claims that were submitted before Aug. 1, when the new claim form became available. Claims are being processed in priority order, with decisions being rendered on the oldest claims before claims that have been pending for less time. As of early September, there were nearly 1,300 of these claims – approximately 800 of which were submitted more than one year ago. The VCF anticipates that compensation claims that include all information required for review and that were submitted more than two years ago should be completed by year end and hopes to also make substantial progress on similarly situated claims submitted over one year ago.
As of Oct. 3, the VCF has issued more than 10,700 awards over the life of the program, including 9,130 awards in Group A and 1,573 awards in Group B. When combined, these awards total approximately $2.05 billion ($1.822 billion to Group A and $228 million to Group B).
For additional information about how to file a claim, please visit the “How to File a Claim” page on the VCF’s website at www.vcf.gov and information on policies and procedures can be obtained at https://www.vcf.gov/pdf/VCFPolicy.pdf. If you have any questions about the claim form, the website, or the VCF process, please contact the VCF’s toll-free Helpline at 1-855-885-1555. Individuals who have been diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness that is not currently on the list of eligible conditions should periodically check the World Trade Center Health Program website at http://www.cdc.gov/wtc/conditions.html to see if the condition is added to the list.