Following the horrific events of 9/11, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) was created to provide monetary compensation to those who suffered physical harm or lost their lives as a result of the attacks or subsequent rescue and cleanup efforts. After being inactive for several years beginning in 2004, the VCF was revived under President Obama administration’s after he re-authorized the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. As a result, the VCF will continue accepting claims until Dec. 18. And yesterday, the Department of Justice announced that since re-opening five years ago, the fund has awarded $1.52 billion to claimants. Some of that money may well have found its way to loved ones of the hundreds of men and women from here in the Hudson Valley who lost their lives that day. (More than 130 hailed from Rockland, Orange and Putnam counties alone.)
The $1.52 billion figure comprises all payments made to the 8,930 Group A claimants who have been approved thus far, with approximately 200 Group A claims still in progress. Group B claimants are set to begin receiving payments as soon as all Group A claims have been finalized, meaning this figure is expected to keep increasing as the program moves forward.
In a statement posted to the VCF website, Special Master Sheila Birnbaum said, “I realize no amount of money can alleviate the losses suffered on September 11, 2001, but the 9/11 community is one of great resilience, and the men and women who are working so hard to process VCF claims are proud and privileged to work with all of you.”