DOJ Appoints Allison Turkel as New VCF Special Master

March 14, 2023
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Allison Turkel the new VCF Special Master


After nearly one year since the departure of former Special Master Rupa Bhattacharya, Department of Justice (DOJ) has appointed Allison Turkel, a native New Yorker, as Special Master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). For the past 10 months, August Flentje served as interim Special Master to help streamline the VCF claims process from the time Rupa Bhattacharyya left to when Allison Turkel assumed her duties on March 12, 2023.

Allison Turkel is a distinguished legal professional who has served the Department of Justice for decades in a variety of roles. Not only is Special Master Turkel a former district attorney, but she also served eight years as a police officer in the Philadelphia area. Also, Special Master Turkel was born and raised in New York City, thus demonstrating her ties to a community she has taken an oath to serve.

Streamlining the VCF Claims Process

Upon appointment as the new VCF Special Master, Allison Turkel stated that she looks “forward to working alongside the dedicated VCF staff to ensure that 9/11 claimants promptly receive the payments to which they are entitled.” First responders and survivors who qualify to receive medical treatment and benefits under the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) are eligible to file a VCF claim in seeking compensation for their pain and suffering.

While eligibility is not guaranteed, claimants who are able to prove that they are 9/11 survivors or responders – or legal representatives of victims who suffered a 9/11-related illness – often receive some form of compensation from the VCF. It is the Special Master’s job to facilitate the smooth processing of claims to not only determine eligibility, but to also identify a fair amount of compensation a claimant should receive.

The Special Master also oversees the appeals process for any claimants who believe they are entitled to more compensation than they have been offered. Former Interim Special Master August Flentje exceeded in processing VCF appeals with a turnaround time of six months or less – a goal Special Master Turkel intends to meet as she begins her new role. With a new VCF Special Master and a strong team to support her efforts, the VCF claims process will only continue to improve.

Contact the 9/11 Lawyers of Pitta & Baione LLP Today

If you suffer from a 9/11-related illness, or wish to speak with an attorney about a deceased loved one who suffered from a 9/11-related condition, consider reaching out to Pitta & Baione LLP today. Our team of nationally recognized 9/11 lawyers routinely help clients pursue VCF claims and help these clients to receive the compensation they deserve.

With the assistance of a qualified 9/11 lawyer, you can ensure that your VCF claim is being handled appropriately, providing you with the best chance possible of recovering compensation. To schedule your free consultation, contact the 9/11 lawyers of Pitta & Baione LLP today by calling (844) 637-5574 or by submitting a case inquiry through our website.