What is the WTC Victim Compensation Fund?

January 30, 2020
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If you’ve ever had any interaction with the federal government, then you are familiar with its alphabet soup of agencies and programs — IRS, FDA, SSD, SSDI, FCC, SNAP, and FAFSA, just to name a few. One of the most important federal programs for victims of the 9/11 attacks is the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (known by the letters VCF), which is administered by the Department of Justice (DOJ). However, many mistakenly refer to this fund as the “WTC Victim Compensation Fund” for a variety of reasons, which are quite understandable. Below, we will untangle the initialisms of federal programs that aid 9/11 victims. For more information about any of the programs discussed herein, please contact our office today.

The Correct Name of the Program is Not the WTC Victim Compensation Fund

The correct name of the program is the “September 11th Victim Compensation Fund,” which can be shortened to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund or simply the VCF. This program provides compensation to individuals who:

  1. Died as a direct result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes on 9/11
  2. Died as a result of rescue, recovery, or debris removal efforts on 9/11 and thereafter, and
  3. Were present at a 9/11 crash site in the aftermath of the attacks and suffered physical harm as a result (this includes anyone who lived, worked, or studied in the Exclusion Zone of Lower Manhattan and was exposed to toxic dust)

The VCF is the only federal program that provides these benefits to these groups of people; there is no such program as the “WTC Victim Compensation Fund.”

Our VCF Lawyers Explain the Possible Sources of the Confusion

Given the enormous number of federal and state agencies and programs known by their initials, it is understandable that this state of affairs could cause confusion. But confusion about the VCF being called the “WTC Victim Compensation Fund” most likely arises for two primary reasons. First, another federal program — the World Trade Center Health Program — provides medical benefits 9/11 victims, which can lead to mix-ups. Second, most people who are old enough to have witnessed 9/11 associate the events of that day most strongly with the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. As such, they may assume that anyone affected would be entitled to compensation from a “WTC Victim Compensation Fund.” However, the actual VCF is much broader and applies not only to victims at the World Trade Center, but also to those present in most of Lower Manhattan, along debris removal routes (at piers, barges, and garages), at vehicle repair and maintenance garages, at morgues, the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island, the Pentagon, and the Flight 93 crash site near Shanksville, PA.

Contact Our Knowledgeable Attorneys for More Information About the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund

If you were present at a 9/11 site and have suffered health issues in the intervening years, you may be entitled to compensation from the VCF. For more information about your eligibility for “WTC Victim Compensation Fund” benefits or any other 9/11-related government program, please contact the attorneys at Pitta & Baione by using our online contact form or by calling us at 844-982-2667.