Everyone has heard of the risk for having vaccinations. But what happens when they go wrong and you or your loved one ends up sick from it? Can you get help with medical bills, expenses, etc? The answer may be yes.
The Health Resources and Service Administration’s website states that on October 1, 1988, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP was established to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines, stabilize vaccine costs, and establish and maintain an accessible and efficient forum for individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines. The VICP is a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system for resolving vaccine injury claims that provides compensation to people found to be injured by certain vaccines. The U. S. Court of Federal Claims decides who will be paid. Three Federal government offices have a role in the VICP: the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (the Court). The VICP is located in the HHS, Health Resources and Services Administration, Healthcare Systems Bureau, Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation.
The Vaccine Injury Table makes it easier for some people to get compensation. The Table lists and explains injuries/conditions that are presumed to be caused by vaccines. It also lists time periods in which the first symptom of these injuries/conditions must occur after receiving the vaccine. If the first symptom of these injuries/conditions occurs within the listed time periods, it is presumed that the vaccine was the cause of the injury or condition unless another cause is found. Examples of table injuries include anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction), paralytic polio, and encephalopathy (general brain disorder).
If your injury/condition is not on the Table or if your injury/condition did not occur within the time period on the Table, you must prove that the vaccine caused the injury/condition. Such proof must be based on medical records or opinion, which may include expert witness testimony.
So who is eligible to file a claim? You may file a claim if you received a vaccine covered by the VICP and believe that you have been injured by this vaccine. You may also file a claim if you are a parent or legal guardian of a child or disabled adult who received a vaccine covered by the VICP and believe that the person was injured by this vaccine. You may also file if you are the legal representative of the estate of a deceased person who received a vaccine covered by the VICP and believe that the person’s death resulted from the vaccine injury.
Some people who receive vaccines outside of the U.S. may also be eligible for compensation. The vaccines must have been covered by the VICP and given in the following circumstances: the injured person must have received a vaccine in the U.S. trust territories; or if the vaccine was administered outside of the U.S. or its trust territories: the injured person must have been a U.S. citizen serving in the military or a U.S. government employee, or have been a dependent of such a citizen; or the injured person must have received a vaccine manufactured by a vaccine company located in the U.S. and returned to the U.S. within 6 months after the date of vaccination.
Therefore, if you are injured and feel that the injury came from a vaccine, refer to the Vaccine Injury Table and follow the guidelines to file a claim.