2019 Reauthorization of Victim Compensation Fund

With the announcement by the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund in September of 2018, that because of the lack of resources, the Fund would have to plan to cut pending claims of injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors by 50% and future claims by 70%, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cory Gardner (R-CO), U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), and U.S. Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), and Peter T. King (R-NY-2)  in 2019 introduced the bipartisan legislation “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act” , HR.1327/S.546.  Its purpose was to fully fund the VCF, reverse any cuts would keep the VCF open past December 2020 when it is scheduled to be shut down.

The legislation was introduced with a strong show of initial support with 22 bipartisan sponsors in the Senate and 93 in the House with members of Congress from across the country including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania. Rhode Island Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

During the process of moving the legislation and gaining support the bill was renamed “the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act”, to honor the heroic efforts by FDNY Firefighter Ray Pfeifer and NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez in working to pass the legislation and make sure all injured 9/11 responders and survivors got the help they need. The legislation as provided for:

  • Extended and funded the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) until 2090 the same as the World Trade Center Health Program. 
  • Mandated that the VCF Special Master make whole any determinations that were reduced due to lack of enough funding. 
  • Allowed the Special Master, if special circumstances warrant, discretion to provide increased cancer and non-cancer, non-economic awards. 
  • Allowed the Special Master to adjust awards based on inflation every 5 years.

With the work of a coalition of 9/11 advocates, unions and Members of Congress, support for the legislation grew to an overwhelming bi partisan 333 sponsors in the House of Representatives and 76 sponsors in the Senate.

On July 12, 2019 the legislation was passed by the House or Representatives by a vote of 403 to 12 and on July 23, 2019 it passed the Senate by a vote of 97 to 2 and was signed into law by President Trump.

Here are documents and information about the 2019 Reauthorization of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.


Legislative History of HR. 1327/ S. 546

Library of Congress Legislative History of HR. 1327 the “Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act”


Bill Summary

Hr. 1327 / S.546 Bill Summary  March 5, 2019

The CRS Summary of VCF Program July 10, 2019


Dear Colleagues

Gillibrand, Gardner Senate Dear Colleague January 7, 2019

Maloney Nadler King House Dear Colleague on HR. 1327 March 4, 2019

Maloney Nadler King Dear Colleague on HR 1327 April 18, 2019


List of Cosponsors of 2019 Legislation

List of House Co-sponsors HR. 1327

List of Senate Co-sponsors S. 546


Votes

House of Representatives Roll Call 474 (403-12)   July 12, 2019

Senate Roll Call 224 (97-2) July 23, 2019


CBO

Cost Estimate for HR 1327 July 11, 2019


Statistics

Participation by State in WTC Health Program and VCF June 1, 2019

Statistics on the size and scope of the 9/11 Health Crisis facing 9/11 Responders, Survivors and their Families May 24th, 2019


World Trade Center Health Program Documents

CRS Summary of WTC Health Program February 28th, 2019

WTC Health Program Participation by State June 2019

WTC Health Program Participation by Congressional Districts June 2019

WTC Health Program Participation by Congressional District Nationwide Map June 2019

WTC Health Program Participation by Congressional District NY Map  June 2019

WTC Health Program Participation by Congressional District NY, NJ, CT, PA Map  June 2019


September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Documents

Announcement of VCF Insufficiency February 2018

The CRS Summary of VCF Program July 10, 2019

VCF Participation by State December 2018

Updated 02/12/2020