It can be hard to link the physical trauma you’re feeling now with the acute trauma that happened on September 11th, 2001. Many suffered on that day, both physically and emotionally. But for some, pains may have been slow to come forward.

The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has extended the deadline for registration through July 29, 2021. If you’ve been waiting to start your claim because of slow-onset illnesses like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or lung cancer, you now have more time to register for the program. Once registered, you can begin your claims process. But even with a little extra time to get registered, you’ll have to be diligent to make sure you don’t see any delays once you begin.

Getting prepped

You’ll want to make sure you have everything you need put together. You must send your claim form with an authorization to release medical information, proof that the World Trade Center Health Program recognizes your condition and several other documents, depending on your application.


Once you send your documents along, make sure you’re still keeping an eye on the process in case any forms are missing. An incomplete submission will cause delays. First, VCF will send a letter outlying what you’re missing and they will label your claim as inactive. If they don’t have the required paperwork in their hands 60 days from that letter, they will likely deny your request and you’ll have to go through reactivation.

Accelerating needs

If you’re running short on time, you may be able to speed the process along. The VCF will push your application through faster when you’re facing a terminal illness, or you’re dealing with emergencies like foreclosure or eviction. To skip the line, you or your lawyer will have to contact the VCF directly. You could get your award within the month if everything goes smoothly.

The VCF is in place to help people recover from the painful and long-lasting effects of September 11th, 2001. Make sure you get the help you deserve, by knowing what you must do to get started in the process.