Compensation for Deceased Victims|
Distribution Plan Information
The Personal Representative (PR) completes the Distribution Plan, found on page 13 of the Compensation Form for Deceased
Victims. The PR must distribute the award according to state law. The PR will provide a proposed distribution plan
to the Special Master for review prior to payment. The Special Master will then review the plan.
If there is a will, then the distribution plan will usually follow the will for the estate, or non-economic, portion of the award.
If there is no will, then the distribution plan will follow state intestacy law for the estate or non-economic portion of the award. The economic loss portion of the award will be distributed according to the state's wrongful death statute.
There are three components of the VCF Compensation Award
1. Non-Economic Award – The $250,000 presumed award on behalf of the victim is generally distributed in
accordance with the victim's will, or in the absence of a will, state intestacy law.
2. Non-Economic Awards for Dependents – The $100,000 additional non-economic award for each dependent is paid
directly to the qualifying dependents. If there are dependents who are minor children, please see below for further
guidance necessary to facilitate the payment of their awards.
3. Economic Loss Award – The wrongful death law of the state of the victim's domicile generally governs the
distribution of the economic loss portion of the award.
- First, the entire award, including the minor child's award, can be paid to the personal representative. Under this
option, a court will generally supervise the distribution of the award and take steps to safeguard the minor's portion of
- Second, the minor child may receive benefits directly from the Fund. Under this option, a guardian must be appointed
by a court of competent jurisdiction to receive an award directly on behalf of the child. Generally, it is a simple and
relatively quick process for a natural or adoptive parent to be appointed a guardian. However, court supervision or a
bond may be involved when a guardian is appointed.
- Third, if you are a natural or adoptive custodial parent of a minor, you may apply to receive benefits directly on
behalf of the child as a "representative payee." As a representative payee, you assume full responsibility for ensuring
that the award to the child is spent for the child's current needs, and, if not currently needed, saved for the child's
future needs. Court supervision or bonding is not required. However, you are still obliged - like a trustee - to ensure
that funds are used in the child's best interest. This includes a duty to prudently invest funds, maintain separate
accounts, and maintain records. If you would like to apply to become a representative payee, please complete and submit
the Application for Representative Payee form. By completing the form, you agree
to receive the funds in a separate account for each child and to perform the responsibilities of a representative payee.
If all parties eligible for the wrongful death portion of the award agree to an alternative distribution plan, the
Personal Representative may submit to the Fund proof that the alternative plan has been consented to by the PR and
all other inclusive parties. Please note that money for minor children cannot be redistributed to other parties.
If any dispute should arise that cannot be resolved, the Fund would release the payment of the award to a court supervised
account and the dispute would be settled by the appropriate surrogate court.