NYLS and the U.S. Department of Justice recently offered two free clinics at NYLS’s Tribeca campus to help people file claims with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).
The VCF compensates those who suffered physical harm from the September 11, 2001 attacks or the debris-removal efforts that followed. The fund, which is administered by the Justice Department and a Special Master, provides a no-fault alternative to tort litigation.
At clinics held on January 26 and 30, NYLS students worked directly with survivors, first responders, and their family members to file claims electronically. The students were joined by VCF representatives, who provided guidance on the process, and by students from other local law schools, who came to NYLS to volunteer. Claimants can seek compensation for pain and suffering resulting from their eligible physical conditions and lost wages if they are disabled due to those conditions.
The VCF, which had operated from 2001 to 2004, was reopened in 2011 when President Obama signed the Zadroga Act. The Zadroga Act also created the World Trade Center Health Program, which provides treatment and monitoring to survivors and responders and exchanges information with the VCF regarding conditions for which a victim is “certified” for treatment.
In 2001, Dean Anthony W. Crowell directed New York City’s World Trade Center Death Certificate Program and served as counsel at the city’s Family Assistance Center, where he assisted victims’ families.
NYLS’s Impact Center for Public Interest Law helped organize the recent clinics.