September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) Special Master Sheila Birnbaum on Tuesday published draft regulations to govern the fund, expanding the geographic area for those affected. She is asking the public to give feedback on the proposals before victims can begin submitting claims later this year.
The VCF was created under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act to reactivate the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund that operated from 2001 to 2003. The act expands the pool of claimants to include first responders and other individuals who experienced latent physical injuries associated with the attacks or with debris removal.
Birnbaum's draft rules include a process by which claimants from the first VCF can amend their claims to reflect new injuries and an allowance for the fund to cover additional health conditions as scientific knowledge evolves.
The draft rules also significantly expand the geographic area covered by the VCF from its first iteration. The fund will begin by covering the same physical injuries that are covered by the medical monitoring and treatment program that the Zadroga Act established as the VCF's companion program.