The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) have collaborated to administer a Disability Evaluation process. The process aims to help provide qualifying claimants with disability determinations for eligible, 9/11-related conditions so that they may qualify for economic loss awards from the VCF.
If you think you are a suitable candidate for the Disability Evaluation process and have confirmed you meet its eligibility criteria, you may request that the VCF consider your candidacy.
The actions you must take are accessible on VCF.gov and include one of the following:
If you are submitting a new claim: When submitting your claim, answer the question in the compensation portion of the claim form. This can be found by selecting the “Loss of Earnings” checkbox on the first tab of that section. Select “Loss of Future Earnings.” On that tab, you will see a question asking if you are interested in seeking a disability evaluation through the WTC Health Program. Selecting “Yes” will indicate to the VCF that you are interested in having the VCF evaluate you as a candidate for the disability evaluation program.
If you have already submitted your claim: You will need to submit a compensation amendment through the online system. In the text field, enter a note requesting that the VCF evaluate you as a candidate for the disability evaluation program. You may also upload a letter or other document in support of the request and must also upload the information described below. Once you have submitted your amendment, please send an email to VCFDisability.Eval@usdoj.gov notifying the VCF that you are requesting consideration for the disability evaluation process. The email should include your name and VCF number. Please note that documents should not be submitted via email and sending the email is not sufficient to initiate the review process.You must first submit the compensation amendment and once that is complete, you can alert the VCF to the submission via email. Note also that the email will be monitored solely for the purpose of tracking requests for the Disability Evaluation Process for claims with amendments already submitted and will not be used for any other communications.
In addition to requesting consideration for the program, you also must submit the following information:
- A statement confirming that you have not received a disability determination that is based on a condition deemed eligible in the VCF.
- Documentation showing your work and/or earnings history to show that you are not currently earning an income that approximately equals or exceeds the income you earned prior to your alleged disability. If you have not already done so, you must submit the Social Security Administration (SSA) Consent Form (Exhibit 1). You may also submit tax returns or W2s; a document showing your work history year-by-year including, for example, the Social Security work history that you can get online from the SSA; or an affirmative statement discussing your past and current work and/or earnings history.
- Documents that show that the condition certified by the WTC Health Program support a good faith assertion of disability and that there is a reasonable basis to believe that it is your VCF-eligible condition that is preventing your return to work, either in whole or in part. This can be based on the nature of your certified condition (e.g., cancer in active treatment), medical records showing the severity of the certified condition (e.g., test results, physician statements), or detailed personal statements when accompanied by corroborating documents. You should upload these supporting documents to your claim as one file – with the exception of the Social Security Administration Consent Form (Exhibit 1), which should be uploaded separately. When uploading the file with the supporting documents, select the document type“WTCHP Disability Evaluation Request.”The Social Security Administration Consent Form (Exhibit 1) should be uploaded as document type “Exhibit 1: Social Security Administration Form.”
Filing a VCF claim on your own can be a daunting experience. The Disability Evaluation process is particularly difficult to navigate on your own. Our attorneys specialize in VCF matters, and are available to serve as guides and advocates in the VCF.