September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document
November 20, 2001
Mr. Kenneth L. Zwick
Director, Office of Management Programs
Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20530
Dear Mr. Zwick:
We are writing to bring to your attention concerns that have been raised by some of our
constituents regarding the rules governing the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
We represent the State of New Jersey, which has suffered substantially because of the
attack on the World Trade Center. Sadly, a great many of the victims of the attack were New
Jersey residents. One community lost over 36 residents, more than it lost in all of World War II.
As you know, Congress established the Victim Compensation Fund to ensure that
victims of the attack and their families would receive prompt and fair payment. Recently, many
of these families have contacted us to raise concerns about the Fund. In particular, families are
concerned that given the large amounts of potential claimants, the Fund will be administered in a
manner that limits their due process rights and fails to give them an adequate opportunity to
establish their eligibility for relief. Families also are concerned that their benefits may be
reduced to account for payments received from other sources, including funds received by
charities. These concerns have been forwarded to your office as part of the public comment on
the Victim Compensation Fund.
We hope you will take these concerns in mind as you develop the rules governing the
Fund. In our view, ensuring prompt payment to victims and their families must be the
government's paramount concern in administering the Fund. Many of these families are now
struggling to pay their bills and rebuild their lives. It is essential that they be given an adequate
opportunity to establish their eligibility for relief, without unnecessary red tape, and that they be
provided with the full compensation to which they are entitled.
To ensure that the families are given adequate opportunity to voice their concerns, we
urge you to hold a public hearing on the draft regulations in the next few weeks. Thank you for
your urgent attention to this matter.
Robert G. Torricelli Jon S. Corzine
UNITED STATES SENATOR UNITED STATES SENATOR