With multiple COVID-19 vaccines in rapid deployment across the United States, many people understandably have questions about what they can do if they suffer complications from their immunizations. For many CDC-recommended vaccines, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) provides a source of financial recovery for individuals diagnosed with vaccine-related injuries and illnesses. However, as vaccine lawyer Leah V. Durant explains, the COVID-19 vaccines are not currently covered under the VICP.
The VICP Does Not Cover Injuries and Illnesses from COVID-19 Vaccines
The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has made clear that the VICP will not compensate claims involving COVID-19 vaccines—at least not at this time. Instead, these vaccines are currently covered under the lesser-known Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP).
The CICP provides compensation to individuals who “sustain a covered serious physical injury as the direct result of the administration or use of covered countermeasures identified in and administered or used under a [Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act)] declaration.” The COVID-19 vaccines currently qualify as covered countermeasures under the PREP Act. Eventually, once the pandemic is officially over, this may no longer be the case. As vaccine lawyer Leah V. Durant recently told NBC 4 Washington, the HRSA may also decide to include COVID-19 vaccines under the VICP once they become recommended for routine administration to children. The federal government would also need to impose an excise tax on COVID-19 vaccines to fund compensation awards issued under the VICP.
Unfortunately, the compensation available under the CICP is not equal to the compensation available to VICP claimants. The CICP covers medical expenses and loss of income only—and only to the extent that other sources do not cover these costs. If your health insurance covers your medical bills, or if you qualify for workers’ compensation because you contracted COVID-19 at work, then you may not be eligible to obtain additional compensation through the CICP.
How to File a Claim Under the CICP
Nonetheless, for individuals who have experienced serious physical injuries resulting from their COVID-19 vaccinations, it will be important to assess their eligibility for benefits under the CICP. The HRSA provides a detailed overview of the claims process on its website. Here are some important details to keep in mind when filing a CICP claim:
- The CICP has a one-year statute of limitations that runs from the date of vaccination.
- Filing a CICP claim involves submitting a “Request Package” that contains the information required to demonstrate eligibility for compensation. You must also submit an Authorization for Use or Disclosure of Health Information form for each healthcare provider who has treated your injury.
- The HRSA provides instructions for both of these forms on its website (linked above).
- Upon reviewing a claimant’s Request Package, HRSA personnel will determine the claimant’s eligibility. If they determine that the claimant is eligible, they will request additional documentation for purposes of calculating CICP compensation.
- There is a reconsideration process for CICP claim denials. This involves submitting a request to the Associate Administrator of the HRSA’s Healthcare Systems Bureau.
Contact National Vaccine Lawyer Leah V. Durant
If you have questions or would like more information about your legal rights following a COVID-19 vaccine injury, we encourage you to get in touch. To request a free consultation with national vaccine lawyer Leah V. Durant, please call 202-800-1711 or contact us online today.
Leah Durant Bio
Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.