Marathon bomb victims eligible for state fund
BOSTON (AP) — Those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings have an alternative to the widely-publicized One Fund when seeking compensation, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said.
The state’s Victim Compensation Fund, administered by her office, could provide up to $25,000 in additional aid to qualified applicants. The fund may also help people not eligible for money from the One Fund, said Coakley, who is trying to raise awareness about the fund.
The One Fund was established by Gov. Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino after the April 15 explosions at the marathon finish line that killed three and injured more than 260. It has received more than $30 million in pledged donations from corporations and private citizens.
The largest sums will go victims who experienced brain injuries and double amputations, and to family members of those who died. Others will receive smaller sums based on the extent of their injuries or type of medical treatment received. Coakley is concerned that some people might fall through the cracks.
The state fund, for example, could help a child who was not injured in the blast, but may need counseling because of the horrific scene he saw, Coakley told The Boston Globe (http://b.globe.com/165co7E). Or it could provide help to bystanders who did not realize until days later that they experienced hearing damage.
The state fund, created in 1967, helps victims of violent crimes. It is funded through financial penalties paid to the state in criminal convictions and federal grants. Victims can receive up to $25,000, depending on the cost of medical care, funeral services, or other expenses incurred as a result of violent crime. Applicants need not be Massachusetts residents.
About 100 people have already applied for the state fund, Coakley said.
“We have a pretty broad standard,” Coakley said. “We’d rather be inclusive than exclusive, but we certainly do our vetting.”
Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.boston.com/globe