The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: What it is, and How it can Help You
By Zac Pingle, Staff Writer
What is the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)?
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a no-fault alternative to the traditional system of legal compensation for injuries. The VICP provides compensation for people who may have been injured as a result of a vaccine covered by the VICP. Think of it as a form of insurance that covers your injuries in case you (or someone you provide for such as a child or disabled adult) has been injured (or killed) as a result of a vaccination, except you don’t have to pay a premium. Vaccines, like any other type of medication, can have side-effects that cause injury or even death. In such a case, the VICP will provide compensation for your injuries instead of the vaccine manufacturer or medical provider.
How does the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Work?
Anyone of any age can file a petition to the U.S. Department of Federal Claims regardless of whether or not he or she is a legal U.S. citizen. In order to file a VICP petition, you must have been vaccinated in the U.S. You or someone you have provided for (such as a child or disabled adult) must have been injured (or killed) by a vaccine in order to file a VICP petition.
The legal process for filing a petition is as follows:
You file a petition with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reviews the petition, determines if your petition meets the medical criteria for compensation, and makes a preliminary recommendation.
The U.S. Department of Justice develops a report that includes the medical recommendation and legal analysis and submits it to the Court of Federal Claims.
The report is presented to a court-appointed Special Master, who decides whether you should be compensated. If compensation is awarded, the Special Master determines the amount and type of compensation.
The Court will then order the Department of Health and Human Services to award compensation to you.
Note that even if your petition is dismissed, if certain requirements are met, the Court may order the Department of Health and Human Services to pay your attorneys’ fees and costs. Additionally, you may appeal the Special Master’s decision or reject the decision of the Court. If you reject a Court’s decision (or withdraw your petition within a certain time limit), you may file a claim in civil court against the vaccine company or the health care provider that administered the vaccine.
In order for a vaccine to be covered by the VICP, it must be recommended to be routinely administered to children by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and be subject to an excise tax by law.
Here is a link for vaccines currently covered by the VICP
Hire an Attorney
Filing a VICP petition is a legal process and can be very complicated. You should hire an attorney who is licensed to practice before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Your attorney will ensure that the proper evidence (like medical bills and reports, lost wages, and other important documentation) are present and is well prepared when it is filed. Additionally, if your petition is approved, you will need an attorney who can provide competent legal representation in Court.
For more information on the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program visit: