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Frequently Asked Questions

ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK INDEPENDENT RECONCILIATION AND COMPENSATION PROGRAM ("IRCP") COMPENSATION OF CERTAIN INDIVIDUAL CLAIMS OF CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (“FAQs”)

 

PHASE II

 

 

 

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

MARCH 1, 2017


 

1.       What Is Phase II of the Independent Reconciliation And Compensation Program?

 

This Phase II Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (the “Phase II IRCP”) follows the completion of the claim submission process of Phase I of the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program previously implemented, and supplements initiatives already undertaken by the Archdiocese of New York (the “Archdiocese”) to address the problem of sexual abuse of minors alleged against clergy of the Archdiocese.   The Phase II IRCP is the continuation of a program designed to compensate eligible victims of abuse.

The Phase II IRCP is administered by Kenneth R. Feinberg, a highly regarded mediator, and his colleague, Camille Biros (the “Administrators”).  The goal of Phase II of the Program is to resolve claims of sexual abuse by clergy of the New York Archdiocese (the “Archdiocese”) by individual claimants who have not previously reported a complaint of abuse to the Archdiocese.  The Administrators of the Program have complete autonomy to determine eligibility of individual claims and the amount of compensation for victims that come forward with a claim.  The Program will be monitored and advised by an Independent Oversight Committee comprised of former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Judge Loretta Preska and Dr. Jeanette Cueva who will oversee implementation and administration of the IRCP.  Commissioner Kelly serves as Chair of the Independent Oversight Committee.  The Committee has no authority to modify or reject any individual claim determinations governing eligibility and compensation rendered by the independent Administrators or to act as an appeal board for any claimant.

 

2.       Who May File A Claim?

 

Individuals who have previously registered for Phase II of the IRCP alleging sexual abuse by clergy of the New York Archdiocese (not previously reported to the Archdiocese) may file a claim for Phase II of the Program.  (As stated during the Registration Process, all such allegations made in Phase II will be forwarded to the local office of the District Attorney by the Claimant and to the Archdiocese for initial review of the allegations.)  All other individuals who believe they may have a claim must register with the Program via the Program website at https://www.nyarchdiocese-ircpsettlementprogram.com. or call the Program Call Center toll free at 866 913-3210.

 

3.       Will Filing A Claim Cost Money?

 

No.  There is no fee associated with filing a claim with the Program.  You may, however, incur fees from professionals such as lawyers, should you choose to engage their services.  The Program will not pay for or reimburse you for such fees.  However, it will provide you a lawyer free of charge, if you so request, for the purpose of explaining to you the nature of the release an eligible individual claimant must sign in return for receiving Program compensation. 

 

4.       What Proof Will I Have To Submit To Receive Compensation From The Program?

 

Supporting documentation (examples shown below) which provides evidence of the nature, frequency, location and time of the alleged sexual abuse will assist the Administrators in reviewing and evaluating your claim.  Examples of supporting documentation include:

 

·         Copies of contemporaneous notification (in the form of an email, a letter or other form of communication) regarding the alleged abuse made by the individual claimant to friends, family, church officials, law enforcement authorities, and/or others. 

·         Medical or counseling records for treatment received relevant to the alleged abuse.  

·         Police or other law enforcement records

 

5.       What Happens After A Claim Is Filed?

 

Once your Claim Form and supporting documentation are received, the Administrators will process your claim promptly.  You will receive written notice by mail or by email of the receipt of your claim.  Claims are reviewed by the Administrators on a rolling basis.  Upon completion of the review of your claim by the Administrators, you will either be notified of the determination of your claim, or notification of deficiencies in documentation and requests for additional documentation, if necessary.

 

6.       How Will Settlement Amounts Be Determined?

 

The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program will be administered by Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille Biros.  They have final decision-making authority to determine who is eligible and the amount of the compensation.  The compensation will be just and fair, based on the experience and judgment of Mr. Feinberg and Ms. Biros and consistent with the guidelines established and agreed to by the Administrators, the Independent Oversight Committee and the Archdiocese.  In the course of administering the Program, the Administrators will take the following steps:

 

·         The Administrators will evaluate claims submitted with the required documentation in a prompt and fair manner.

 

·         Any documentation previously submitted to the Archdiocese in connection with claims of sexual abuse will be made available to the Administrators consistent with the Protocol.  All documents and other information provided the Administrators by individual claimants and/or the Archdiocese will remain confidential and will not be disclosed except in connection with the processing of the claim, the prevention of fraud, and the protection of children under the Archdiocese Safe Environment Program or as required by law. 

 

·         Consistent with the terms and conditions of the Protocol, any final decision rendered by the Administrators pertaining to an individual claim will be fully binding on the Archdiocese.  The Archdiocese has no authority to reject any final decisions rendered by the Administrators.

 

·         The Administrators will send each claimant and the Archdiocese notification of the determination of the claim including the proposed settlement amount.

 

·         Acceptance of payment from the Administrators will require the claimant to execute a Full Release of Liability.

 

·         The Administrators of the IRCP will keep confidential all information received from all claimants participating in the IRCP, except in connection with the processing of the claim, the prevention of fraud, and the protection of children under the Archdiocese Safe Environment Program or as required by law.  As noted in the Protocol, new claims will be reported to the appropriate District Attorney before they can be considered by the Administrators.

 

·         There is no confidentiality requirement of any kind for claimants participating in the IRCP, and they may share details of their experience with whomever they wish.

 

7.       When Will Victims Receive Payment?

 

The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program will begin to immediately reach out to claimants and begin review the cases of those who have already come forward in the past and who voluntarily decide to participate in the Program.  The Administrators expect to spend the next four months reviewing these matters previously submitted to the Archdiocese and to make payments to eligible claimants on a rolling basis during this time frame.

8.       How Will Payments Be Made?

 

Payments will be issued by the Program following the final processing of an eligible claimant’s Claim Form and acceptance by the claimant of the settlement amount.  The Program will authorize the payment, by check or electronic funds transfer, to each eligible claimant upon receipt of the required release signed by the claimant.  Checks will be sent by overnight courier service. 

 

 

       9. What if my claim is against clergy of another diocese or religious order? May I still register for Phase II of the Program?

 

If your claim involves acts of abuse committed by clergy of another diocese or religious order, your claim will be forwarded to the appropriate religious community for handling using their own policies and procedures for responding to allegations of abuse.  The person bringing the claim will be informed where the allegation has been forwarded.

9.       How Do I Apply?

 

Phase II potential claimants who have previously registered for Phase II of the Program will be sent, via overnight delivery, a copy of the Program Protocol, the Claim Form and a copy of these FAQs. All other individuals who believe they may have a claim must register with the Program via the Program website at https://www.nyarchdiocese-ircpsettlementprogram.com. or call the Program Call Center toll free at 866 913-3210.  

 

Completed Claim Forms may be sent to the Administrators via US mail or overnight courier service to the address shown on the Claim Form.  The completed Claim Forms will be reviewed by the Administrators for a determination of eligibility and a determination of the amount of compensation.  The Archdiocese and the claimant will be notified of each determination made by the Administrators.  The claimant will review the offer and determine whether or not to accept the offered compensation.

 

If a claimant chooses to accept a final payment pursuant to this Protocol, the claimant will be required to sign a Full Release of all past and future claims against any party relating to such allegations of sexual abuse.  Before signing such a Release, the individual claimant will be required to consult with an attorney selected by the claimant, or if the claimant so requests, the Administrators shall provide an attorney to provide free, pro bono legal counseling to the claimant for the sole purpose of advising the claimant concerning the nature, language and significance  of the Release. 

 

10.   How Can I Obtain A Claim Form?

 

Copies of the Claim Form will be mailed to each individual who previously registered for Phase II with the IRCP Program via the Program website. If an individual is not contacted within two weeks after the commencement of the Phase II Program and believes he/she should have received a Claim Form for the Phase II Program, the individual should register with the Program through the website at https://www.nyarchdiocese-ircpsettlementprogram.com.  Please send questions via email to the Administrator at ClaimantService@NYARCHDIOCESE-IRCPSettlementProgram.Com, or telephone the Call Center toll free at 1-866 913-3210.

 

11.   Where Should I Send My Claim Form?

 

Completed Claim forms and the required supporting documentation should be submitted to the Administrators at the following address:  (A pre-paid postage return addressed envelope will be provided in your packet for submission of your completed Claim Form and documentation to the Administrator.) 

 

 

NY Archdiocese-IRCP Settlement Program – Phase II

c/o The Law Offices of Kenneth R. Feinberg, PC

1455 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW – Suite 390

Washington, DC 20004

 

12.   Are Claim Materials Available in Languages Other Than English?

 

The Program website, Protocol, Claim Form, instructions for completing the Claim Form and Frequently Asked Questions will be made available in English and Spanish.

 

13.   What If I Have Questions About The Claim Form Or The Claim Submission Process?

 

You can contact the Administrators by either sending your message/questions via email to:  ClaimantServices@NYArchdiocese-IRCPSettlementProgram.com or by calling toll free 1-866 913-3210.

 

14.   How Will I Know If My Claim Is Missing Information Or Documents?

 

You will be notified of any deficiency in your documentation or any missing required documentation once you have submitted your Claim Form.  Please ensure that your full name, address, and other contact information appear on every communication submitted to the Program.

 

15.   How Can I Update Or Supplement My Claim Form?

 

If you need to supplement your submission or correct or remedy a deficiency with your submission, you will be able to do so by sending the supplemental documentation to the Administrator at the address shown above.  Also, the Administrators may contact you and state that your claim is deficient and must be supplemented with additional information.  You will be afforded an opportunity to do so.

 

16.   How Long Will Victims Be Able To Apply For Compensation?

 

Phase II applications may be submitted to the Administrators on or before the deadline of July 31, 2017. 

 

17.   Do Victims Waive Their Right To Legal Action If They Accept Money From The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program?

 

Yes, as already indicated, any individual claimant who accepts compensation pursuant to the Program must surrender any right to go to court to sue any party relating to the alleged sexual abuse.