Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) FAQs

Learn about the Vaccination Injury Compensation Program and how you can obtain compensation for most serious injuries caused by most vaccinations.

1. What is the VICP?

The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is an alternative to standard tort systems and was created to provide an avenue for compensation for vaccine-injured individuals. Established in 1989 following hundreds of vaccine injury claims filed against vaccine manufacturers which threatened to reduce rates of vaccinations in U.S. children and adults and threatened to cause shortages of necessary vaccinations, the VICP allows individuals to file vaccine injury claims for the purpose of compensation. Those filing claims are permitted to be represented by an attorney instead of trying to navigate the legal process by themselves.

2. How is a VICP Claim Resolved?

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services doctor initially reviews the claim to decide whether the claim meets certain VICP criteria. If the claim meets this criteria, a decision is then made whether it is more likely than not that the vaccine caused the injury.  Once this decision is made, consideration is given to a determination of compensatory damages that should be made to compensate the injured individual.  At any step along the way, should the parties disagree, then hearings are held before a special master during which both lay and expert testimony may be offered in support of each side’s claims in the case.  Once final decisions are made by the special master assigned to the claim, findings are made by the special master.  Those findings can then be appealed by a litigant to a judge of the VICP court. If the appeal is denied, it can be reviewed by a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

3. Who Can File a Vaccine Injury Claim with the VICP?

Any individual who received a covered vaccination inside the United States and suffered injuries due to the vaccination can file a claim with the VICP. Legal representatives, guardians and parents can file on behalf of deceased family members, disabled people, and children.  The individual bringing the claim will have to show that the victim’s vaccine-related injury symptoms lasted at least six months, the victim had a surgical procedure in an inpatient hospital setting, or the victim died as a result of the vaccine-related injury.

4. What Vaccines are Covered by the VICP?

Most vaccines are eligible, according to VICP guidelines. Injuries attributed to the DTP; hepatitis A and B; influenza (flu); MMR (measles, mumps, rubella); Hib, meningococcal; polio; rotavirus; tetanus, HPV, pneumococcal (but only the Prevnar 13 and not the Pneumovax 23)  and varicella vaccinations are all compensable by the VICP. The shingles vaccine and the Pneumovax 23 vaccine ARE Not COVERED by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

5. What is the Vaccine Injury Table?

This table lists conditions and injuries commonly caused by vaccinations. People filing claims with the VICP have received a vaccine listed on this Table.  Further, if the injured person suffered an injury described by the Table during the timeframe provided by the Table, then the injured person has what is referred to as a Table Case.  However, even if the injured person received a vaccine that is listed on the Table but suffered an injury outside of the Table timeframe or even an injury not listed on the Table, the injured person may still be able to file a claim.  That is why it is imperative to hire an experienced vaccine attorney immediately.

6. Can I File a Claim If I am not a U.S. Citizen?

Yes; an individual who is not a US citizen may file a claim for a vaccination injury, but the vaccine would have to have been administered in the US or one of its trust territories.  Other exclusions to the general rule include an individual who received a vaccine while out of the country serving as a member of the US Armed Forces or an employee of the government or one of their dependents.

7. Why Should I Hire a Vaccine Injury Lawyer to Handle My Case?

Filing and pursuing a vaccine injury claim is a very complicated process that is fraught with peril.  A petition must be filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to initiate the claim. Petitions are legal documents containing information essential to proving the vaccine injury case. In addition, medical information obtained by medical and/or scientific experts may also be needed to support facts contained in the petition.

8. What If I Can’t Afford to Hire an Attorney to File My Claim?

It does not cost anything to hire most vaccine injury lawyers. They are paid by the VICP and you receive 100% of the compensation awarded to you.  However, some will require a deposit, a retainer, or even that the victim pay the case expenses.  At Howie Law PC, we front all the time and expense associated with a case.  Our clients never pay us a dime of their own money.

9. How Long Do I Have to File a Vaccine Injury Claim?

Time allotments for filing claims vary according to different circumstances. We recommend contacting us as soon as possible regarding your case.

10. How Likely Is It I Will Win My Case?

We will do everything we can to get you the compensation you deserve. With experience and in-depth knowledge regarding vaccine injury lawsuits, our lawyers with aggressively and expertly represent you throughout the process.

10. Does this have anything to do with the Anti-Vaxxer movement?

Absolutely not. The VICP was created in recognition of the importance of vaccines to public health. Vaccines are not perfect, and they can and do cause injuries. The VICP gives people who have been injured by vaccines a way to receive compensation in a way that does not hamper the scientific community’s ability to develop and manufacture them or the medical community’s ability to cost effectively administer them, and in doing so preventing millions  of cases of preventable disease each year.


Contact Howie Law today to learn more about the VICP and filing your vaccine injury claim: 866-828-2028.