Zeroes for heroes? lawyers contend VCF gave some 9/11 victims nothing

Cuts to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund have caused hardships for families of sickened recovery workers even as support grows for renewing its funding, say two lawyers who work with the September 11th community.

Matt McCauley, an attorney and former NYPD cop who served at the recovery effort, said to Bob Hennelly of the Chief-Leader, “We have widows who are getting nothing, and it is no fault of the VCF. The VCF is administering the fund in the manner in which they have to, so it is not a knock on them. It is a knock on the administration that it hasn’t fully funded the VCF.”

In the period between 2011 and 2016, the VCF received more than 19,000 claims. Since 2016, 28,000 more claims have been submitted so far. These claims are from those who worked on the pile, and from survivors of the terrorist attacks and from lower Manhattan residents and workers, reports.

The fund had $7.5 billion to allocate, but has spent or committed to spend more than $5 billion on current and past claims. The VCF now has more new claims than it has settled since the last time Congress deigned to reauthorize funds.

Beginning in February 2019, awards have been cut 50% or 70%. Money for claims will be gone by next year if reauthorization does not happen.

As a consequence, in February, as required by the fund’s enabling legislation, the fund’s director announced it would have to cut awards by 50 to 70 percent, depending on when the claims were submitted. The program will end in December of next year, unless Congress acts.

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