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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration

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Who Can File

You may file a petition if you: 

  • received a covered vaccine and believe that you have been injured by the vaccine,
  • are the parent or legal guardian of a child or disabled adult who received a covered vaccine and whom you believe was injured by the vaccine, or
  • are the legal representative of the estate of a deceased person who received a covered vaccine and who you believe was injured by the vaccine and/or whose death you believe resulted from that vaccination.

You may file a petition regardless of your age and whether or not you are a U.S. citizen. The covered vaccine must have been given in the United States or its trust territories unless:

  • the person who received the vaccine was, at the time of vaccination, a U.S. citizen serving abroad as a member of the Armed Forces or as an employee of the U.S. Government, or a dependent of such a citizen; or
  • the vaccine’s manufacturer was located in the United States and the person who received the vaccine returned to the United States within 6 months after the date of vaccination.

Severity Requirements

You can file a petition when the effects of the injury:

1 lasted for more than 6 months after the vaccination; or

2 resulted in inpatient hospitalization and surgical intervention; or

d resulted in death.

Filing Deadlines

You must file your petition within the following timeframes:

  • Injury: within 3 years after the first symptom or manifestation of onset or of the significant aggravation of the injury;
  • Death: within 2 years of the death and within 4 years of the first symptom or manifestation of onset or of the significant aggravation of the injury from which the death resulted;
  • Certain Vaccine Injury Table (Table) changes: 2 years from the date of the Table change for injuries or deaths that occurred up to 8 years before the Table change. A Table change includes new vaccines or injuries added to the Table or other changes to the Table if the revision makes a petitioner eligible to seek compensation or significantly increases the likelihood of a petitioner obtaining compensation. 
  • The Court may extend a deadline using equitable tolling in very limited circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information, read the FAQs.

Disclaimer

The content of this website reflects the current thinking of the United States Department of Health and Human Services on the topics addressed and does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind the Department or the public. The ultimate decision about the scope of the statutes authorizing the VICP is within the authority of the United States Court of Federal Claims, which is responsible for resolving petitions for compensation under the VICP.

Last Reviewed: February 2016

To Be Found Entitled to Receive Compensation

In addition to meeting other requirements (e.g., filing deadlines, receipt of a covered vaccine), your petition must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that:

  • the injury or condition alleged to be associated with the covered vaccine meets the requirements of the Vaccine Injury Table (PDF - 105 KB); OR
  • the vaccine caused the injury or condition; OR
  • the vaccine significantly aggravated an existing illness or condition causing it to get worse.

In addition, the Court must not find that the injury or death resulted from another cause.

Types of Compensation That May Be Available
  • Past and future unreimbursable medical, custodial and rehabilitation care, and related expenses, without limits and based on need for care
  • As much as $250,000 for actual and projected pain and suffering
  • Lost earnings
  • As much as $250,000 as a death benefit for the estate of a deceased in the case of a vaccine-related death
  • Reasonable attorneys’ fees and other legal costs
  • With the exception of Medicaid payments, the VICP is the payer of last resort and generally can only reimburse or pay for medical items or services that are not covered by most third-party payers