The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a program that was developed in the 1980’s to compensate people that have reactions and injuries caused by vaccinations. It is a no-fault program, meaning you do not have to prove negligence as you do with traditional injury claims. You only need to demonstrate that the vaccination caused your injury to be entitled to compensation.
The program is funded by a tax on vaccinations. Each time a dose of a vaccination is manufactured, the pharmaceutical company is taxed 75 cents. That money is placed into a trust fund which is used to run the program and pay vaccine injury victims. As of now, there is over 4 billion dollars in the trust fund. Any individual, of any age, who received a Covered Vaccine and believes he or she was injured as a result, can file a petition for compensation. Parents, legal guardians and legal representatives can file on behalf of children, disabled adults, and individuals who are deceased.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (“HRSA”) records data from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Specifically, you can find the number of:
A person may file a petition in the Vaccine Injury Court if:
Additionally, anyone may file a petition regardless if they are a U.S. citizen or not, as long as the vaccine was administered in the United States or its territories and is listed under the Vaccine Injury Table, unless:
Every claim that is compensated in the VICP provides some degree of pain and suffering. However, the circumstances of the case determine whether lost wages or medical expenses are provided.
The VICP can pay as much as $250,000.00 for pain and suffering. In cases where the person died of their vaccine injury, the award is set at $250,000.00. It is difficult to put a monetary value on pain and suffering. In practice, the amount of pain and suffering awarded will be based on various factors, including:
Pain and suffering awards are not taxable. In addition, My Vaccine Lawyer retains no portion of the award. The award is sent to the petitioner in its entirety.
If the vaccine injury, or treatment of the injury, caused the petitioner to miss work, then the petitioner can seek lost wages. In cases where the petitioner receives the vaccination at work and receives workers’ compensation benefits, then the petitioner can seek the balance between the workers’ compensation benefit and the actual lost wages (usually workers’ compensation or disability benefits will pay around 2/3 of the actual lost wages). The VICP will pay the lost wages after deduction of the usual taxes.
In cases where the petitioner incurred costs for treatment of the vaccine injury, the VICP will reimburse the costs. However, the VICP will only reimburse the portion actually paid, or due to be paid, by the petitioner. The VICP does not reimburse any portion paid by insurance companies. However, if state Medicaid has paid for any portion of treatment, the VICP will reimburse those expenses directly to Medicaid. It is crucial that petitioners advise their vaccine injury attorney if they believe Medicaid may have paid for any treatment. Otherwise, Medicaid may seek reimbursement from the petitioner’s share of the award.
Petitioners can also recover damages for medical expenses they will incur in the future. Typically, this type of recovery is reserved for more catastrophic injuries where home nursing or home modifications are involved. For future medical expenses, we typically retain a life care planner or other expert to provide estimates of expenses the petitioner will incur in the future as a result of the vaccine injury.
Page last reviewed and updated: November 24, 2020