The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), was established in 1986 to provide compensation for people who are injured by certain vaccines.
Before the VICP, lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers and healthcare providers threatened to reduce vaccination rates. The no-fault VICP process doesn’t find blame for vaccine injuries. It recognizes that while rare, vaccine reactions do happen, and a course for compensation is necessary.
This means the providers don’t need to be concerned about lawsuits and can continue giving vaccines to prevent illnesses.
Who administers the VICP?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosts the VICP. It reviews petitions (also called claims) brought by people with vaccine injuries and makes Court-ordered compensation payments.
Claims for vaccine injury compensation are heard in the United States Court of Federal Claims Office of Special Masters, which makes the final decision about whether a claim should be compensated and the amount. The HHS is represented in this Court by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).
How is the VICP funded?
Compensation for vaccine injuries, as well as all legal fees, are paid by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund. These funds come from a tax on vaccines that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for routine administration to children.
The amount of the tax is $.75 for each disease that is prevented by the vaccine. For example, the seasonal influenza (flu shot) vaccine prevents one disease, so the tax is $.75. The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, which prevents three diseases, is taxed $2.25.
Who can file a VICP claim?
Anyone who believes a vaccine covered by the VICP has caused illness can file a claim with the VICP. Parents can file for their children, and legal representatives can file a claim for someone who has died as a result of a vaccine injury. You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to file a claim.
Claims must be filed within three years of the first symptoms of vaccine injury. If the person has died from the injury, their representative must file within two years of the death and within four years of the first symptom of the injury that caused the death.
How much compensation can I expect?
Your compensation depends on the extent of your injury and whether you have become disabled as a result. The Court also considers your past and future lost earnings, your past and ongoing medical expenses, and your quality of life after your injury.
In addition to lost earnings and medical expenses, you can be compensated for your past and future pain and suffering. The highest compensation for pain and suffering is $250,000.00. We do everything we can to maximize your potential compensation. Learn more about our case results.
Do I need an attorney to file a claim with the VICP?
Since all legal fees are paid by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund, it’s worthwhile to use an attorney to represent you throughout the VICP process. This process is complicated and having an experienced vaccine injury attorney can help maximize your compensation.