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Compensation for 9/11 “Pain & Suffering” Damages

Can I get “pain & suffering” damages from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund?

Yes. The 9/11 Victim Compensation fund calls “pain and suffering” damages “non-economic loss.” Pain and suffering describes the physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life’s activities that a victim endures as a result of the 9/11 covered physical injuries or illnesses.

The new Reauthorized Zadroga Act of 2015 imposes caps on the amounts for non-economic loss awards for Group B claims (claims with award notices dated after December 17 , 2015)

New Caps on Non-Economic 9/11 Damages

The new caps on non-economic 9/11 damages are:

  • $250,000 for an eligible 9/11 covered cancer (Note: certain cancers will be awarded less than $250,000);
  • $90,000 for an eligible non-cancer condition (Note: many non-cancer conditions will be awarded less than $90,000);
  • The Reauthorized Zadroga Act does not place an “aggregate cap” on noneconomic loss but merely states that the loss for any type of cancer shall not exceed $250,000 and the loss for any type of non-cancer shall not exceed $90,000. For example, if a 9/11 victim suffers from one cancer and receives an award and then later develops a second different cancer, the VCF has the discretion to make an additional award of compensation up to another $250,000.
  • A non-economic loss may result from both a cancer and non-cancer condition and/or may result from more than one type of cancer.
  • The Special Master has discretion to consider the effect of multiple cancer conditions or multiple cancer and non-cancer conditions in computing the total noneconomic loss in such claims.

The 9/11 lawyers at Turley Hansen always help our clients prepare a detailed “Victim Impact Statement” when appropriate. We believe it is important for claim reviewers to know the real story about how your 9/11 illness changed your life. You and your family are not just a faceless diagnosis. The Fund should know these facts to award the appropriate compensation in your claim.

Non-economic loss awards do not require that the claimant lose time from work or suffer a permanent disability. The Fund only allows non-economic loss awards for covered physical conditions. The Victim Compensation Fund does not allow any awards for solely mental injuries (such as PTSD, anxiety or depression).