According to a recent announcement from the United States Department of Justice, Rupa Bhattacharyya has stepped down as Special Master of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). After five and a half years as the VCF Special Master, Ms. Bhattacharyya has accepted a position with Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection.
To ensure the uninterrupted processing and payment of VCF claims, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland will appoint an interim Special Master until a permanent replacement is found. A VCF Leadership Announcement indicates that the appointment of the interim Special Master should prevent any delays caused by Ms. Bhattacharyya’s departure.
VCF Special Master Processed 40,000 Claims Over Her Tenure
As Special Master of the VCF, Ms. Bhattacharrya processed approximately 40,000 claims, which equaled nearly $8 billion in compensation for victims. Individuals who receive compensation are 9/11 toxin exposure victims, such as survivors and first responders who have suffered the health consequences of the 9/11 attacks.
While Ms. Bhattacharrya was VCF Special Master, she was forced to adjust the amount of claims victims would receive due to a lack of authorized funding by Congress. After outrage from multiple parties, efforts were underway to permanently fund the VCF.
Overall, VCF claimants were happy with Ms. Bhattacharrya’s job as Special Master. Additionally, Ben Chevat, who heads 9/11 Health Watch, stated that Ms. Bhattacharrya shortened VCF payment processing times for victims. According to Mr. Chevat, the processing of claims used to take an average of three to four years, and under Ms. Bhattacharrya’s watch, VCF payment processing times were reduced to under twelve months, which is a significant accomplishment.
Special Master Bhattacharyya will be missed and the 9/11 community is hopeful the interim VCF Special Master and eventual replacement can fill Ms. Bhattacharrya’s shoes, meeting the needs of 9/11 toxin exposure victims who are in need of compensation for their suffering.
Contact the Pitta & Baione Today for a Free Consultation
If you were exposed to 9/11 toxins and believe you may be eligible to receive compensation through the VCF, act quickly to discuss your legal options with a qualified 9/11 lawyer. At Pitta & Baione, our team of 9/11 lawyers work tirelessly to ensure their clients have the best chance possible of receiving the compensation they deserve that is commensurate with their pain and suffering. Because all cases are unique, working with a 9/11 lawyer is essential to document the true extent of a 9/11 exposure victim’s damages. To schedule your free consultation, contact Pitta & Baione today by calling (844) 982-2667