The September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) began making payments yesterday to Group B claimants who suffered physical harm or lost loved ones as a result of the 9/11 attacks, per a Department of Justice (DOJ) release. The first wave of compensation will be meted out to those with most pressing need, and then in order of the date each claimant was notified of the award.
The news comes about three-and-a-half months after the DOJ announced that, since re-activating the fund in 2011 (it had been inactive since 2004), the VCF had awarded $1.52 billion to the 8,930 claimants in Group A, i.e. those for whom a letter of notification was issued on or before last December 17. Since mid-June, the last 200 or so Group A claim payments have been finalized, and for the past several weeks, VCF Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya has authorized more than 500 Group B claims. After the DOJ sends payment information to the Department of Treasury, it may take up to three weeks for claimants to see them reflected in their bank accounts.
At present, the VCF is still processing close to 1,300 Group B claims submitted before August 1, in order of submission. Bhattacharyya estimates that all claims submitted more than two years ago should be completed by the end of 2016.
Overall, the VCF has issued more than 10,7009 awards since being established in 2001, having paid out a total of $2.05 billion to recipients.