Who Is Eligible for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund?


The tragedy of September 11th has haunted many people for years. Not only has the attack left lingering psychological challenges, but it has also caused lifelong health complications.

To help those affected by 9/11, a Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) exists. This is meant to help bridge economical losses and ease the burden of surviving a highly traumatic event.

To be eligible for the VCF, you must have been near the World Trade Center during the attack or in the months following and been diagnosed with an illness that is caused by 9/11.

If you meet these criteria, you can receive significant help. This begins with understanding who is eligible for benefits from the VCF. We’ll point out the three primary groups that meet these criteria below.


The first group eligible for the 9/11 VCF is everyone who survived the attack. This applies to those that worked in the World Trade Center on 9/11, those who live in the nearby area, and anyone who attended school near Ground Zero.

Most of the occupants inside the World Trade Center were evacuated. Of the roughly 17,000 inside, 2,600 passed away. This means that most employees survived 9/11.

While the attack may not have killed everyone in the towers, the destruction of the attack released deadly chemicals into the air. This affected everyone within a mile radius of the twin towers.

Because of this, anyone that was in the World Trade Center, lived nearby or was in the area during 9/11 or in the next six month classifies as a survivor.

As survivors were directly affected by 9/11, they need the help the most. Resulting health complications are likely and this is what the VCF is intended to address.

First Responders

Another significant group eligible for the 9/11 VCF includes all first responders on the scene of the World Trade Center. Firefighters, medical personnel, and law enforcement are all good examples of first responders.

While the air pollution caused by 9/11 affected all within a mile, those that were closest were hit the hardest. In particular, first responders were as close as it gets.

The primary issue for first responders is that their focus was on the safety of everyone inside the World Trade Center. They didn’t fully consider their safety and the dangers posed by exposure.

That said, they had no time to react and had to act quickly to save lives. Without their sacrifices, countless more would have died during 9/11.

Unfortunately, their sacrifice is exactly that. Many first responders died at the scene, but the rest inhaled excessive amounts of toxic chemicals that have caused more to die years later.

Considering this, 9/11 directly impacted first responders and led to serious health consequences. This is what makes them eligible for the 9/11 VCF.

Family Members

Lastly, surviving family members of those that passed away during or as a result of the 9/11 attack can also benefit from the 9/11 VCF. This includes children, spouses, and any family members that were dependent on the deceased.

While many workers of the World Trade Center effectively evacuated, some did not, and others succumbed to their injuries later. 9/11 has caused thousands of deaths, many of those coming after the attack.

Regardless of when your loved one passed away, if it was a result of 9/11 directly or a related illness, then you are eligible for compensation from the VCF. The rationale behind this is that losing a family member is a physical, emotional, and economical loss.

A deceased victim of 9/11 would be eligible for the VCF if they had survived, so their death does not eliminate what they are owed. Instead, it transfers that to the family members affected by the loss.

Closing Thoughts

9/11 was one of the darkest moments in US history. It will not be forgotten and cannot be overlooked due to the ongoing health complications that survivors face to this day.

Because of this, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) was created to aid those affected. In particular, survivors, first responders, and family members of 9/11 victims are eligible for benefits from the VCF.

Regardless of how long it’s been, any health issues you face as a result of 9/11 are significant and undeserved. Get the help you are entitled to by checking if you are eligible for the 9/11 VCF.


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