Who Is Eligible For A 9/11 Claim?


Have you or someone you know been affected by the 9/11 attacks? If so, you may be eligible for a claim through the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). The VCF was established to provide compensation to families and individuals affected by the events of September 11, 2001.  

This article will explain the key elements of this process. You’ll learn about the general requirements for eligibility, the different categories of claimants, and more. It’s always best to get the services of an attorney for 9/11 claim for better assistance. No matter your role in 9/11, understanding the scope of coverage can help determine if you qualify for benefits. 

Background And Purpose Of The VCF 

As mentioned, the VCF was created to provide financial relief for those affected by September 11, 2001. Its purpose is to compensate individuals and families for physical harm or economic losses due to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Shanksville.  

It includes death or injury claims from first responders, survivors, volunteers who worked in rescue or recovery efforts, and workers at any site during this period. The VCF also compensates people whose property was damaged due to debris removal and cleanup operations following 9/11. 

To be eligible for a claim from the VCF, you must have been present in one of these three areas during their respective attack times and have experienced physical harm or economic loss as a direct result. 

Additionally, 9/11-related illnesses such as cancer may qualify you for a claim depending on your circumstances. Understanding your eligibility before filing a 9/11 claim with the VCF is important to receive the maximum amount allowed based on your situation. 

General Requirements For Eligibility 

To be considered for compensation from the VCF, you must have been in one of the affected areas during their respective attack times and experienced physical harm or economic loss as a direct result. 

The Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is available to those injured during or after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and those who lost loved ones due to them.  

Additionally, individuals may be eligible for compensation if they were present in any impacted areas between September 11 and May 30, 2002, regardless of whether they were physically harmed.  

Those who experienced physical harm or psychological trauma from exposure to airborne toxins released in the wake of the attacks are also eligible for claims under this program. Finally, family members of victims killed on September 11 can also claim against this fund for economic losses they suffered due to their loved one’s death. 

Categories Of Individuals Eligible For A 9/11 Claim 

You’re eligible for a 9/11 claim if you were: 

  • A First Responder And A Recovery Worker

For those who served on the frontlines of 9/11, their sacrifice won’t go unrecognized. First responders include police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians. Recovery workers, such as construction and sanitation workers, and volunteers, such as chaplains or mental health counselors who aided during the response or recovery efforts directly after the attack. 

Those who participated in rescue, recovery, cleanup, or other related activities are also eligible to file a claim with VCF if they’re experiencing an illness, either physical or mental, due to their involvement.   

  • A Survivor

The survivors are those who lived or worked in the area during the attack or visited as tourists. People who weren’t physically present at these locations but experienced adverse physical and psychological effects due to their proximity may also qualify for compensation. 

To be eligible for a claim through VCF, survivors must provide proof that they were present in one of these locations during that period and submit medical documentation proving any resulting physical or psychological injuries.  

  • A Deceased Individuals’ Family 

The families of those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks can still seek some form of closure by filing a claim with the VCF. Eligible claimants include spouses, domestic partners, parents, children (including adult children), siblings, and other dependents. 

Ineligible claimants include stepparents, stepchildren, grandparents, grandchildren, and extended family members who are not legally dependent on the deceased victim. 

To be eligible for a claim through the VCF program, claimants must prove that their loved one died because of physical injuries sustained in either the terrorist-related aircraft crash incidents that occurred in New York City on September 11, 2001, or due to exposure to toxins released from Ground Zero following these events. 

Supporting evidence, such as autopsy reports, may be required when submitting a claim, and all claims must be filed within two years from December 18, 2018, to be considered valid. 

Requirements And Documentation For First Responders And Recovery Workers 

If you were a first responder or recovery worker after the 9/11 attacks, you’d want to know what documents and requirements are necessary to get the help you deserve. 

To be eligible for compensation through programs such as the Victim Compensation Fund, individuals must provide documentation that they worked in Lower Manhattan on or after September 11, 2001.  

It could include employment records or volunteer service providing support at Ground Zero, the Staten Island Landfill, or Fresh Kills Park. It’s also important to document any physical injuries suffered during this period with medical records from doctors and other healthcare professionals. 

Documentation Required For Survivor Claims 

Survivors of the attack are eligible for monetary compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) if they can provide evidence that connects an injury or death to a 9/11-related illness or condition. Documentation such as medical records, proof of residency, and witness statements must be provided to submit a claim for VCF benefits. 

In addition to these documents, survivors should also provide forms stating their contact information and date of diagnosis. These forms will help prove how an individual was affected by 9/11 and demonstrate which physical or mental conditions it caused.  

The paperwork may include official documents, such as police reports, affidavits, and other personal items that attest to what happened on that fateful day. By providing this evidence, individuals can ensure their claim is approved, and they get the compensation they need. 

Requirements For Family Members To File A Claim 

Family members of those affected by the 9/11 attacks who wish to file a compensation claim must provide appropriate documentation, such as medical records and proof of residency, to demonstrate their relationship to the survivor. Family members may be eligible for compensation under the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).  

In addition to providing such documents, family members must also prove that they have suffered financial hardship due to the death or injury of a loved one from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  

For example, they may need to present evidence that there has been a decrease in income due to lost wages or increased expenses related to caring for an injured relative. Documentation proving any physical or emotional harm experienced by family members can also be helpful when filing a claim with VCF. 

Specific Conditions Covered By The VCF 

You may be entitled to compensation from the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) if you or a loved one suffered physical or emotional harm due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Generally, this means any injury resulting in illness, death, disability, psychological harm, economic loss, or other damages sustained due to exposure to smoke and dust at Ground Zero.  

The VCF also covers conditions such as chronic asthma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and certain cancers related to the attacks. 

In addition to physical injuries and illnesses caused by exposure to smoke and dust at Ground Zero, the VCF covers conditions that developed after being exposed to debris removal tasks at Fresh Kills Landfill.  

These conditions include mesothelioma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); lung diseases such as asthma; any other cancers associated with these activities; mental health issues like PTSD; and hearing loss or vision impairment due to noise or particles in the air while working on debris removal tasks. 


Eligibility for a 9/11 claim is possible if you were a first responder, recovery worker, or family member of someone affected by the attacks. Understanding the eligibility requirements and documenting all relevant information to file your claim is important. An experienced lawyer can ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your losses and suffering.



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