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DOJ Seal, September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001

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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.

  • 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 the award.


  • 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.
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.

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.



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