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National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

Glossary: Understanding Your Vaccine Injury Claim

While the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) provides a simplified process for recovering financial compensation after a vaccine injury, understanding your rights – and what you need to do to protect them – can still be a challenge. If you have been diagnosed with a vaccine injury and are trying to learn about your rights, this glossary will help you get started:

10 Key Terms in National Vaccine Injury
Compensation Program (VICP) Claims

1. Court of Federal Claims

The Court of Federal Claims (also known as the “Vaccine Court”) is the federal court in Washington D.C. that serves as the venue for all claims filed under the VICP. When you file a VICP claim, attorneys from the U.S. Department of Justice will represent the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (which administers the VICP) in all proceedings before the Court of Federal Claims.

2. Covered Vaccines

Covered vaccines are those for which vaccine-related injuries are eligible for compensation under the VICP. They include the vaccines for:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis
  • Influenza
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Measles, mumps and rubella
  • Meningococcal
  • Pneumococcal conjugate
  • Polio
  • Rotavirus
  • Varicella (chickenpox)

3. Damages

Damages are the losses you are entitled to recover in a claim filed under the VICP. They fall into three categories: (i) medical expenses, (ii) loss of income and earning capacity, and (iii) pain and suffering.

4. Medical Expenses

The medical expenses that are recoverable under the VICP include bills for treatment through the date of your award as well as any future medical costs you are likely to incur as a result of your injury.

5. Loss of Earning Capacity

Loss of earning capacity refers to any income you are unable to earn in the future as a result of your injury. You can suffer loss of earning capacity if you are unable to work at all, or if you are forced to take a lower-paying job.

6. Loss of Income

Loss of income refers to any wages, salary, benefits or other compensation that you lost as a result of being unable to work due to your injury. This includes days and hours you missed for doctors’ appointments, because you were in pain or because your injury prevented you from doing your job.

7. Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering are non-financial losses that can be recovered under the VICP. Typically, pain and suffering damages are calculated using a multiple of the claimant’s financial losses (medical expenses and loss of income)


Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) is a class of injury that results from errors during vaccine injections. Common forms of SIRVA include adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), brachial neuritis, shoulder bursitis, and tendonitis.

9. Special Master

A Special Master serves as the adjudicator for National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program claims. If your VICP claim does not settle (as many VICP claims do), the Special Master assigned to your case will determine if you are entitled to compensation.

10. Vaccine Injury Table

The Vaccine Injury Table lists certain types of vaccine injuries that are eligible for compensation under the VICP. In general, individuals diagnosed with “on-table” injuries will have an easier time securing a financial recovery.

Learn More about Your Rights Under the VICP

Have you been diagnosed with a vaccine-related injury? Would you like to speak with an experienced vaccine attorney about filing a claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program? To discuss your case in a free and confidential consultation, 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 the other attorneys in her firm 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.


About Leah Durant

Leah Durant is a former U.S. Department of Justice trial attorney who specializes in vaccine injury claims covered by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. These cases are filed before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (more commonly known as the “vaccine court”) in Washington, DC, where she has been admitted to practice since 2008. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Leah Durant is a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park and received her law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. Leah Durant’s legal practice concentrates on litigating complex vaccine injury and medical related cases. She has an extensive legal background and has experience representing individuals with complex medical claims.


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