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Top Vaccine Injury Attorney
in the entire United States
Serving Clients Nation-Wide
1815 Pebrican Ave
Cheyenne, Wyoming  82001
Phone:  (307) 433−8864,

When You File a Vaccine-Injury Claim…

Here is
How the National Vaccine-Injury
Compensation Program Works

As Your Vaccine-Injury Claim
Is Processed Through
The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

The US National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is essentially a no-fault insurance program, intended to pay victims of vaccine injuries for their losses without determining who was at fault in causing the injury.

Created by Congress in 1986 and put into operation in October of 1988, the VICP is funded through an excise tax charged on every dose of vaccine administered in the US.

How Congress Intended the Program to Work

The theory behind the program and how it is supposed to work is simple:

  • You or a loved one gets a vaccination.
  • For reasons known or unknown, the vaccine, the way it was administered, or a reaction to it causes an injury to the person receiving it.
  • The victim (or someone acting on behalf of the victim) files an injury claim against the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the VICP.
  • HHS evaluates the claim, bases its conclusions on the evidence provided in the claim, and determines whether the the vaccine, or how it was given, appears to have caused the injury.
  • If the claim appears to be valid, the victim is paid an amount stipulated by law, or an amount that reflects the damages suffered due to the injury according to the circumstances.
  • If evidence suggests the injury was likely caused by something else, the claim is denied.
  • If the claim is denied, the victim can then continue to pursue compensation by filing an appeal through the US Court of Federal Claims.
  • In some cases, the appeals process can extend all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
  • All (or at least most) claims are supposed to be paid in 240 days (8 months) or less.

The intent of Congress was to have the program resemble a typical no-fault process such as in the case of, for example, automobile accidents:

  • An accident happens involving two drivers.
  • Both drivers have similar accident-insurance coverage with the same insurance company.
  • Each driver's claims of injury and/or property damage is filed with the insurance company.
  • The insurance company reviews the claim to make sure the damages actually resulted from the accident.
  • The claim is paid immediately after the review and approval.
  • Neither driver can sue the other driver for negligence or other fault.

How the Program Actually Operates


What actually resulted is far different from what Congress initially intended. There are numerous reasons.

HHS officials objected to the Program from the beginning, but Congress created it anyway. They feared a crisis where nobody was manufacturing vaccines and we'd end up with a national disaster as dangerous diseases once again wrought death and suffering among the people.

Then HHS was given the job of writing the regulations. Unfortunately, they made the process much more complex than Congress intended.

As a result, the process actually works more like this:

  • You or a loved one gets a vaccination, followed by an injury or death.
  • You file a claim under the VICP, with the US Secretary of Health and Human Services as the respondent.
  • HHS assigns a Special Master to handle the claim, then sends your claim and all the supporting documents to an attorney for the US Department of Justice (DoJ) who then pores over it, looking for details or errors that will enable DoJ to counter your claim before the Special Master.

  • Remember: The DoJ lawyer's objective is to block you from getting compensation from the injury and associated problems by countering or disproving your claim. That's his job.
  • The DoJ lawyer then submits your claim and evidence, along with the DoJ's response to your claims, to the Special Master who then makes an initial ruling and either dismisses it at that point, or sets the matter for continuing action.
  • The VICP does not require you to be represented by an attorney, but imagine going up against the DoJ and expecting to win. For that reason, we'll assume at this point you had the good sense in the beginning to be properly represented by highly competent legal counsel.
  • The Special Master schedules an initial status conference, which your attorney and the DoJ attorney participate in. This is the VICP equivalent to a pre-trial conference in a civil litigation where participants orally present tentative findings and conclusions. One of three things then happens:
    • The case is dismissed.
    • A second conference is scheduled with requests for more information if the record is incomplete.
    • A date for the first hearing is set if the record is substantially complete.
  • A series of one or more hearings are then held to hear arguments from both sides, and to consider testimony from their expert witnesses, after which the Special Master issues a ruling — either in favor of the person making the claim, or against.
  • If the claim appears to be valid, the victim is paid an amount stipulated by law, or an amount that reflects the damages suffered due to the injury according to the circumstances.
  • If evidence suggests reasonable probability that the injury was likely caused by something else, or if the claim fails to provide sufficient confidence that the injury was caused by the vaccine or vaccination, the claim is denied.

Appeals and Payouts

If the claim is denied and dismissed at any point, you can appeal the decision to the US Court of Federal Claims, then to the appeals court — possibly all the way the United States Supreme Court, as we've done with some of our cases.

But don't expect to be paid within 240 days (8 months) or less. Claims can commonly take several years — sometimes as long as 7-9 years.

Attorneys' Fees

Government lawyers are salaried and paid monthly by the US Department of Justice.

The attorney or attorneys representing you are paid directly by the VICP, whether you win or lose.

Under the VICP, you are not responsible for attorneys' fees. Therefore if you prevail in your claim, the entire awarded amount is paid directly to you, as stipulated by law.

But if you don't prevail, your attorney still gets paid by the VICP, not by you.

Give Us A Call, Or Email Us

If you think you or a loved one is the victim of a vaccine injury, give us a call right away at (307) 433−8864, or email us at

Don't Miss An Important Deadline

Do not delay.

The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has very strict filing deadlines that must be met. If you miss a deadline, you also lose your right to seek compensation for your injury.