September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document
Tuesday, November 27, 2001 11:46 AM
Comments on Title IV, H.R. 2926
To Whom It May Concern:
I am a volunteer facilitator working with the New York City Bar Association on behalf of victims and survivors of the 9/11 disasters. A common
question among those who are involved is how, and to what extent, compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund will be "offset" by
other compensation and/or support claimants have or will receive pursuant to these tragedies. This seems to be a key issue that could greatly affect
a person's decision of whether it makes sense to forego certain legal rights by participating in the Fund.
For example, one possible scenario is that a claimant who chooses to participate in the fund is required to present evidence of his or her losses, as
well as any other sources of compensation he or she has or will receive, prior to obtaining a judgement award from the Fund. In this instance, the
amount awarded for the person's loss is directly affected by the additional compensation information.
A second scenario is that a claimant who participates in the fund presents evidence of loss to obtain a judgment award, but is not required to
present evidence of other compensation received until after the award is determined. Once the award is determined, the amounts the claimant has
previously received are deducted from the award.
In the first example, a person might be less likely to forego his or her legal rights for suit because it permits the receipt of earlier benefits to
influence the extent of that person's loss. In the second example, a person's loss is determined independently without regard to the level of support
previously received. This seems to be the more equitable procedure.
In the end, obviously, Congress will make the ultimate determination of what the procedures will be. But, in the interim, any information is greatly