VCF Deadlines and Latency Periods
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When applying for benefits from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), the agency sets both a registration deadline and a filing deadline. However, the WTC Health Program — the agency that certifies that a claimant’s health condition is indeed 9/11-related — has its own set of deadlines. While an individual generally may apply for the WTC Health Program at any time, the agency requires that, for a condition to be certified as 9/11-related, a certain amount of time must have passed between the applicant’s 9/11 exposure and the date of their initial diagnosis for certain types of conditions. This is known as “latency.” Below is an overview of both the VCF’s deadlines and the WTC Health Program’s minimum and maximum latency periods from a 911 victim compensation fund attorney.
The VCF employs two types of deadlines for personal injury claims: a registration deadline and a claim filing deadline. The registration deadline varies according to the claimant’s circumstances:
- If you were certified by the WTC Health Program for a 9/11-related health condition before July 29, 2019, you must register your claim with the VCF by July 29, 2021.
- If you have not been certified by the WTC Health Program for a 9/11-related health condition, or if any condition is certified after July 29, 2019, you must register within two years of the latest date on which the WTC Health Program certifies your physical health condition as 9/11-related.
The claim filing deadline is the same for all applicants: October 1, 2090.
Minimum and Maximum Latency Periods for 9/11-Related Conditions
Before you can file a claim for VCF benefits, you must obtain a certification from the WTC Health Program that your condition is 9/11-related. But most 9/11-related conditions are latent — meaning that symptoms do not appear until months or even years after 9/11 exposure. Based on requirements in the Zadroga Act, the WTC Health Program sets minimum and maximum time periods for certain types of conditions that must have elapsed between initial exposure and an initial diagnosis for the condition to be certified. These time periods vary by condition:
- Mesothelioma: 11 years minimum; no maximum
- All solid cancers (other than mesothelioma, lymphoproliferative, thyroid, and childhood cancers): 4 years minimum; no maximum
- Lymphoproliferative and hematopoietic cancers: 0.4 years/146 days minimum; no maximum
- Thyroid cancer: 2.5 years minimum; no maximum
- Childhood cancers: 1-year minimum; no maximum
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): no minimum; no maximum
- Other obstructive airways diseases: no minimum; 5 years maximum
- Upper respiratory diseases: no minimum; 5 years maximum
- All types of interstitial lung disease: no minimum; no maximum
- Co-occurring gastroesophageal reflux disease: no minimum; 5 years maximum
Musculoskeletal Disorders and Acute Traumatic Injuries
All individuals seeking certification of musculoskeletal disorders and acute traumatic injuries must have received treatment on or before September 11, 2003.
Contact a 911 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney for More Information About VCF Deadlines and Latency Periods
If you are unsure of whether your condition is eligible to be certified as 9/11-related, you should speak to an attorney who can help you with your application. For more information, please contact a 911 victim compensation fund attorney at Pitta & Baione by using our online contact form or by calling us at 844-982-2667.