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Few Complete 9/11 Fund Paperwork

June 1, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ The number of families that have completed applications for the federal government’s Sept. 11 fund remains in single digits nearly nine months after the terrorist attacks that killed more than 3,000 people.

In the six months since the fund opened, fewer than 10 families have application process, The New York Times reported Saturday. The small figure reflects a number of factors, from the complexity of the process to the possibility of filing lawsuits.

The fund’s administrator, Georgetown University law professor Kenneth Feinberg, has said the pace is ``slower than I had hoped.″ He did not return a call for comment Saturday.

Victims’ groups say the lag is due in part to confusion about the fund’s rules and awards from charities that have bought families time to weigh their options.

Other people are waiting to see how the early applicants fare before applying. By applying to the fund, they forfeit their right to sue airlines and others.

Fewer than 500 families of those killed in the attack have filed partial claims with the federal government’s Victim Compensation Fund, the Times reported.

The fund was set up by Congress as part of the $15 billion airline bailout bill. Feinberg says the minimum award is $250,000 and the average will be about $1.85 million.

The deadline to apply to the fund is Dec. 21, 2003.

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On the Net:

Victim Compensation Fund: http://www.usdoj.gov/victimcompensation

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