The Severity Requirement: Understanding Whether Your Injury Meets This Threshold Requirement

The Vaccine Program requires vaccine injured petitioners to satisfy a severity requirement. Generally, the severity requirement specifies how long an injury must last in order to be eligible for compensation in the Vaccine Program.  There are several ways a vaccine injured petitioner may satisfy the severity requirement : 

  • Demonstrate that a vaccine injury persisted for at least six months, or
  • Demonstrate that a vaccine injury resulted in an inpatient hospitalization and surgery, or
  • Demonstrate that a vaccine injury resulted in the injured individual’s death. 

Many petitioners satisfy the severity requirement by demonstrating that a vaccine injury persisted for six months.  You can establish a six-month injury by showing that the residual symptoms lasted for six months.  In some circumstances, you can show that treatment or testing for a vaccine injury lasted for at least six months.  Objective evidence, such as medical records that document symptoms, treatment or testing related to the vaccine injury, is the best form of evidence. 

If your symptoms did not last for six months, but you underwent surgery during an inpatient hospitalization, you may still satisfy the severity requirement.  However, you cannot simply demonstrate that either a surgery or an inpatient hospitalization occurred, but rather, you must demonstrate that both requirements are met.  For more information about the severity requirement, please contact us for a free consultation.

In addition to the severity requirement, your claim must also be filed within the Statute of Limitations.  For additional detail, please visit our FAQ page.