The Judgment Fund was established to pay court judgments and Justice Department compromise settlements of actual or imminent lawsuits against the government.
It is administered by the Judgment Fund Section, which is a part of the United States Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Fiscal Service. The Judgment Fund Internet Claims System (JFICS) is the application used to process all Judgment Fund claims.
The Judgment Fund is a permanent, indefinite appropriation available to pay judicially and administratively ordered monetary awards against the United States. The Judgment Fund is also available to pay amounts owed under compromise agreements negotiated by the U.S. Department of Justice in settlement of claims arising under actual or imminent litigation, if a judgment on the merits would be payable from the Judgment Fund. The statutory authority for the Judgment Fund is 31 U.S.C. 1304.
If funds for paying an award are otherwise provided for in the appropriations of the defendant agency, the Judgment Fund may not pay an award. A federal agency may request that payment of an award be made on its behalf from the Judgment Fund only in those instances where funds are not legally available to pay the award from the agency's own appropriations.
Amounts paid vary significantly from year-to-year. Federal agencies are not required to reimburse the Judgment Fund except when cases are filed under the Contract Disputes Act (CDA) or the No FEAR Act (Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act).