9/11 Application Process

WTC Health Program eligibility criteria

As a 9/11 survivor, you are eligible for medical and mental health treatment from the WTCHP if you worked, lived, or attended school, and:

  1. developed one of the 68 cancers or one of the many respiratory illnesses (non-cancers) approved by the program;
  2. were present in the WTCHP exposure zone, i.e., below Houston Street from September 11, 2001 to July 31, 2002;
  3. were exposed to the 9/11 toxic dust for the required exposure time (i.e., more than 80 hours).

How to apply for the WTC Health Program

There are 3 steps to apply to the WTCHP. Follow these steps to ensure you have a complete application:

  1. Determine your eligibility as a “WTC Survivor”
  2. Include your supporting documentation with your WTCHP Applications.
  3. Apply online using the online system or download a form and send through mail or fax.  If you have questions about the application process or about your individual application, please contact the WTC Health Program toll-free at 1-888-982-4748 or email the Program at WTC@cdc.gov.

The WTCHP provides medical monitoring and treatment for 9/11 related conditions.  To get certified, you must first apply and provide one proof of presence affidavit or other presence document as well as pathology reports or medical records related to your 9/11 condition. Once accepted into the program, you must make an appointment for an evaluation to get certified.  All certified conditions receive free healthcare through the WTCHP.  You can enroll by calling (888) 982-4748 or visit https://www.cdc.gov/wtc/index.html to apply.

NOTE: Although the WTCHP and the VCF work closely together to exchange information regarding WTC-certified conditions, they are different programs.  Individuals who are certified by the WTCHP are not automatically registered with the VCF.  You must register for the VCF separately.

Also, treatment or monitoring by the WTCHP does not automatically make an individual eligible for compensation from the VCF.  You must satisfy VCF criteria to be eligible for compensation.

Victim Compensation Fund eligibility criteria

To be eligible for compensation from the VCF, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Register with the VCF by the required deadline.
  2. Show that you were present within the New York City Exposure Zone (i.e., below Canal Street), or along routes of debris removal, or present at the Pentagon, or Shanksville, PA at some point from September 11, 2001, through May 30, 2002.
  3. Show that you have a 9/11 related physical illness or injury that is on the list of “covered conditions” as determined by the WTCHP and has been certified for treatment by the WTCHP.
  4. Dismiss, withdraw, and/or settle any 9/11-related lawsuits by the appropriate deadline.
  5. If you were compensated under the original VCF that operated from 2001-2004, you must show that you have a new condition, or that your previously eligible condition has worsened or has resulted in additional loss not previously compensated.

How to Register and File a Claim with the VCF

There are 3 basic steps to register and file a claim with the VCF:

  1. Register with the VCF by your applicable registration deadlineThe Registration Deadline is not the same for everyone.  It varies according to individual circumstances. You can create an account and register or call the VCF Helpline at 855-885-1555.

How to Preserve Your Right to File a Claim with the VCF
Registration is the first step in the claim filing process and it simply preserves your right to file a claim in the future. You do not waive any legal rights when you register, and registering does not obligate you to file a claim.  Registration serves only to alert the VCF that you may be a potential claimant; and it meets the legal requirement of timeliness set forth in the law.Although registration does not obligate you to file a claim in the future, if you do file a claim, you must have registered with the VCF by your applicable Registration Deadline in order to be eligible for compensation.  For this reason, the VCF encourages everyone to register now even if you are not sick or have not yet been diagnosed with a 9/11-related condition or certified by the WTC Health Program. This way, you do not have to worry about registering should you become sick in the future.

  1. Get certified by the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program for a physical health condition. See instructions above on how to apply for the WTCHP and how to get your 911-related illness certified.The VCF cannot begin processing a claim until you have been certified by the WTCHP.
  1. File your claim along with all required supporting documentation by October 1, 2090.

Personal Injury Claim

You must file your personal injury claim for compensation with the VCF before the deadline of October 1, 2090. A claim can only be filed if you have previously registered with the VCF within the applicable deadline.  The normal deadline to register with the VCF is two years after certification of illness by the WTCHP, or within two years after the death of a victim.

NOTE: Along with the permanent reauthorization of the Victim Compensation Fund, claimants who missed the normal deadline of two years from the date of certification by the WTC Health Program or two years from the date of death, were granted an extension to July 29, 2021 to register their claims.  This extension was granted by the VCF Special Master since so many were unaware that a deadline existed. Though the 7/29/21 extended deadline has passed, if you missed that deadline because you were unaware of it, you may still be able to file your VCF claim.  We recommend that you consult an attorney on this issue.

Medical Expense Reimbursement Claim

Claims for reimbursements for medical expenses by the VCF will only be processed by the VCF after medical expenses have exceeded the $5,000 threshold. Claims for reimbursement of medical expenses are considered separately after the personal injury compensation claim has been awarded by the VCF.

Wrongful Death Claim

If a victim died before being certified by the WTCHP, then the representative of the decedent can file a claim directly with the VCF. However, the decedent’s representative must register with the VCF within two years from the date of death or by the extended deadline of July 29, 2021, whichever was applicable.

NOTE: You are not required to have an attorney to file your VCF claim. You are free to consult with attorneys and you should make your own decision as to whether you wish to retain an attorney.

Firms specializing in the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund claims can be viewed in the 9/11 Victims Fund PDF.  BMCC/CUNY does not endorse any of these firms; they are listed solely for informational purposes.