This bill — the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act — would permanently authorize the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) by providing funding for claims through FY2090. The VCF would be modified to allow the filing of claims until October 2089 and require VCF policies and procedures to be reassessed at least once every five years (which currently must be reassessed at least once annually). Under current law, the VCF is authorized through FY2020, but it is experiencing a shortfall and benefit cut due to an influx of claims.
The bill would require VCF claimants to be paid for the amount by which a claim was reduced on the basis of insufficient funding. Additionally, the cap on noneconomic damages would be lifted in certain circumstances, and the annual limit on economic loss compensation for inflation would be adjusted.
This bill is named after several 9/11 first responders who died of illnesses related to their work at Ground Zero in New York City.