While the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) serves as a source of financial recovery for many individuals and families affected by vaccine-related injuries and illnesses, it does not cover injuries and illnesses caused by COVID-19 vaccines. Instead, injuries and illnesses related to COVID-19 vaccination are currently covered under a different program—the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP).
5 Key Differences Between the VICP and CICP
Although the VICP and CICP share some similarities, there are also several key differences between the two programs. Some of the most notable differences include:
1. Vaccines Covered
The VICP covers many of the vaccines that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend for routine administration to children and adults in the United States. For example, the flu shot, tetanus vaccines and MMR vaccines are all covered under the VICP.
In contrast, the CICP covers vaccines that have been released in response to public health emergencies. The COVID-19 pandemic remains a public health emergency under a declaration from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As a result, the COVID-19 vaccines remain among the “countermeasures” covered under the CICP.
2. Claims Process
The process of filing a vaccine injury claim under the VICP involves filing a petition in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. A special master over the claim conducts a hearing on the claim if necessary. However, many VICP claims settle through negotiations with the government attorneys representing the HHS.
To file a claim under the CICP, claimants must submit a Request for Benefits Package to the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) at the HHS. Representatives of HRSA then evaluate the claim and issue a decision directly.
3. Filing Deadline
Under the VICP, the deadline for filing a petition is three years from the first onset of symptoms (for non-fatal illnesses and injuries). Under the CICP, claimants must file their Request for Benefits Package within one year of the date of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
4. Claims Processed
Each year, hundreds of claimants receive compensation under the VICP. In the 2022 fiscal year, special masters approved 927 awards with a total award amount of more than $195 million. Since the VICP’s establishment in 1988, the program has paid nearly $4.5 billion to more than 9,000 successful claimants.
In contrast, the HRSA has compensated just 30 claims since 2010. This is out of nearly 11,500 claims filed. The HRSA has denied less than 500 claims, and more than 10,500 claims remain pending or in review.
5. Compensation Available
Filing a claim under the VICP allows eligible claimants to seek full compensation for their medical needs and lost earnings, as well as up to $250,000 in additional compensation for their pain and suffering. Successful claims frequently result in lump-sum settlements.
Under the CICP, compensation is limited to $50,000 per year in reimbursement for medical expenses and lost wages. The CICP does not provide compensation for pain and suffering.
Talk to an Experienced Vaccine Lawyer About Your Legal Rights
If you have questions about your legal rights related to a vaccine injury or illness, we invite you to get in touch. To request a free consultation with experienced vaccine lawyer Leah V. Durant, please call 202-800-1711 or inquire 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.