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September 11th Victim Aid and Compensation Fast Facts

By CNN Library
updated 8:16 PM EST, Tue November 11, 2014
Artifacts from ground zero get a preview at the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York. Among them is a cross made out of steel from the World Trade Center in the 2001 attacks. The museum opens its doors Thursday, May 15, to the 9/11 community -- survivors, rescuers and families -- almost 13 years after terrorists hijacked and crashed four airliners into the towers, killing nearly 3,000 people. The museum will open to the public May 21. Artifacts from ground zero get a preview at the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York. Among them is a cross made out of steel from the World Trade Center in the 2001 attacks. The museum opens its doors Thursday, May 15, to the 9/11 community -- survivors, rescuers and families -- almost 13 years after terrorists hijacked and crashed four airliners into the towers, killing nearly 3,000 people. The museum will open to the public May 21.
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(CNN) -- Here is some background about the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) and the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010.

Facts:
From 2001-2003 the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) processed claims relating to injuries and deaths caused by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

In 2011, the fund was reopened to compensate first responders and individuals who later experienced health problems related to 9/11.

Statistics for VCF 2001-2003:
The fund received 7,408 claim submissions from 75 countries. Awards were made in 5,560 of those cases and totaled over $7 billion.

The fund received 2,963 death claims. This accounted for more than 98% of eligible families. Funds were distributed in 2,880 of these cases. The average award was $2,082,128 and went as high as $7.1 million.

The fund received 4,445 personal injury claims. Funds were distributed in 2,680 of these cases. The awards ranged from $500.00 to $8.6 million.

The money was tax-free.

Statistics for Reopened VCF 2011-present (as of 9/30/2014):
Since its reopening in 2011, the VCF has received 16,833 total eligibility forms. Of the 9,366 eligibility claims that can be decided, 8,517 have been approved.

Over $551 million in compensation has been rendered. The awards range from $10,000 to $4,133,466.

The fund has received 9,331 personal injury claims that could be decided. Funds were approved in 8,492 of these cases.

The fund has received 35 eligibility claims for deceased individuals. Funds were approved in 25 of these cases.

Timeline:
November 26, 2001 - Kenneth R. Feinberg is appointed the Special Master in charge of the federal Victim Compensation Fund.

June 15, 2004 - The September 11th Victims Compensation Fund finishes its work processing death and injury claims from families and relatives of 9/11 victims. Families of those killed had until December 22, 2003 to apply for compensation. Families who agree to get compensation from the federal fund agree not to sue the airlines.

November 8, 2004 - A report by the Rand Institute for Civil Justice finds that victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks received an average of $3.1 million per person, totaling $8.7 billion. About $38 billion in all is paid out by the government, charities and insurance companies. Insurance companies pay the most, covering 51%. The majority of the money goes to New York City businesses.

January 2, 2011 - President Barack Obama signs the First Responders Bill, also known as the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, reactivating the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund that ran from 2001-2003. The act expands health coverage and compensation to first responders and individuals who have developed 9/11-related health problems, setting aside $2.775 billion to compensate claimants for lost wages and other damages related to the illnesses.

May 18, 2011 - Attorney General Eric Holder names Sheila L. Birnbaum as Special Master of September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. She administers the fund created by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

September 30, 2011 - The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund reopens to serve those eligible for claims under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

October 31, 2011 - The reopened 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund begins taking applications, and will continue through October 2016. Final payments will be made in 2016-2017.

August 15, 2012 - Sheila Birnbaum announces that award distribution is on hold until the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health makes a decision about adding cancer to the list of illnesses covered by the Zadroga Act.

September 12, 2012 - The final rule adding 58 types of cancer to "the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions" is published in the Federal Register.

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