You may file a claim if you believe you were injured by a vaccine; if you are the parent or legal guardian of a child or disabled adult believed to have been injured by a vaccine; or the legal representative of the estate of a deceased individual whose death you believe was caused by a vaccine. An injury must have lasted for more than 6 months after the vaccine was given or resulted in a hospital stay and surgery.
All claims must be filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and must include the claim (or petition) and two copies, a Court of Federal Claims cover sheet, medical records and/or other documentation, and a $400 filing fee.
Compensation varies, depending on the injury, and can include as much as $250,000 for pain and suffering, lost earnings, legal fees, and/or a reasonable amount for past and future care. For a death, you may receive as much as $250,000 for the estate and legal fees.
You must file your claim within 3 years after the first symptom of the vaccine injury or within 2 years of a death and 4 years after the start of the first symptom of the vaccine injury that resulted in the death.
1. Understand the process.
Vaccine compensation claims are managed and adjudicated by the Office of Special Masters, within the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. You do not need a lawyer to file a claim, however, since this is a legal process, most people use a lawyer.
2. Who may file.
You may file a claim if you received a vaccine covered by the VICP and believe that you have been injured by thus vaccine. You may file if you are the parent or legal guardian of a child or disabled adult who received and whom you believe was injured by a covered vaccine, or be the legal representative of the estate of a deceased person who received a covered vaccine and whose death you believe resulted from that vaccination.You may file a claim if you are not a United States citizen. More about Eligibility
3. Filing information and deadlines.
To be eligible to file a claim, the effects of the person's injury must have:
1. lasted for more then 6 months after the vaccine was given; or
2. resulted in a hospital stay and surgery; or
3. resulted in death.
You must file your claim within 3 years after the first symptom of the vaccine injury or within 2 years of a death and 4 years after the start of the first symptom of the vaccine injury that resulted in the death. More information about Filing Deadlines.
More about Filing a Claim.
4. File a claim with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims
The claim for compensation is a legal document, called a petition, that you or your lawyer prepares and files by sending it to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims More about the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
5. Who determines compensation.
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims makes the final decision regarding petitions, compensation and the amount of the award.
What You Need to Know about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program - English booklet (PDF - 1.36 MB)
Lo que usted necesita saber sobre el Programa Nacional de Compensación por Daños Derivados de Vacunas - Spanish booklet (PDF - 1.39 MB)
Childhood Immunization Information for Consumers (National Library of Medicine MEDLINEPlus)
If you have additional questions, call:
Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTP, DTaP, Tdap, DT, Td, or TT)
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
Hepatitis A (HAV)
Hepatitis B (HBV)
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Influenza (TIV, LAIV) [given each year during the flu season]
Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR, MR, M, R)
Meningococcal (MCV4, MPSV4)
Polio (OPV or IPV)
Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV)
See Vaccine Injury Table for complete information, including associated injuries and time frames