In November, the Special Master for the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) released a second annual report concerning activities undertaken in the last year to pursue the mandate of the VCF.
From 2011 through 2012, the actions of the Special Master focused on restarting the VCF after President Obama signed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 into law in January 2011. In the last year, the office of the Special Master expanded access to information about the compensation fund and the October 2013 registration deadline.
Key points about these activities include the following:
Individuals suffering injury or illness related to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks or aftermath and who were diagnosed prior to October 2011 were required to register with the VCF on or before October 3, 2013. The VCF estimates this deadline affected the largest portion of claimants.
To reach eligible claimants, the Special Master engaged in outreach programs that included information forums, creating and distributing VCF registration information kits to the government, special interest groups, attorneys and other groups.
The claims registration system on the VCF website was enhanced in 2013. Improvements include updated forms, better response time, faster system function and features designed to assist law firms who work as claimant representatives.
In its second year, the office of the Special Master works to alert claimants to looming deadlines and continues to create infrastructure to gather and process eligible claims.