Under a draft proposal presented this week at two meetings for victims and their families, the largest awards will go to those who lost family members or suffered double amputations or permanent brain damage. According to the Christian Science Monitor, Kenneth R. Feinberg, the fund's administrator, said the largest awards could be $1 million or more. The next largest awards will go to those who suffered a single amputation, followed by those who were hospitalized overnight, with compensation in the latter category depending on the length of hospital stay. Feinberg also said it was too early to assign dollar amounts to injuries, as donations are still coming in, there isn't a comprehensive list of the injured yet, and eligibility requirements are still being determined.
While the fund has raised more than $28 million to date — including some $11 million in hand — from some fifty thousand donors, Feinberg said that survivors and families should lower their expectations. Describing the process of determining the amount of compensation as inherently controversial, he said even large amounts of money cannot make victims feel they are being "made whole." In addition, the fund is unlikely to consider the financial situations of the injured, as means testing would "slow things down, make it too subjective."
Victims of the bombing and their families need to register with the fund by May 15, which is when the claim form is expected to be finalized. The deadline for submitting claim forms is June 15, and checks will be mailed on June 30. The fund will stay open after June 30 to help survivors who may develop complications down the line, said Feinberg.
"I've learned over the years...[that] money is a pretty poor substitute for what you are going through," Feinberg said at the meeting on Monday night. "If you had a billion dollars you could not have enough money to deal with all of the problems that ought to be addressed by these attacks."