Boston's One Fund nears $55M with more than 250 claims

The One Fund, set up by Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to compensate the Boston Marathon bombing victims, neared $55 million days after the deadline for filing a claim passed.

Now, fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg and his team face the task of going through each individual claim and deciding who shall receive what.

"Over the next 10 days, as we promised, we will review over 250 claims. Virtually everybody who was physically injured has filed a claim. We have captured, I believe, everyone in the fund. We will go over all the claims ... and as promised by the mayor and the governor, the $50 million will be distributed in its entirety by the end of the month," Feinberg, who also handled compensation for victims of September 11, 2001, the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill, the 2011 Indiana stage collapse and the Aurora theater shootings, told CBSNews.com.

Feinberg added that he is amazed at the amount raised. "In the 35 years that I've done this, involving private donations -- this is all private money -- from over 75,000 different donors, I have never seen anything like this. Never underestimate the charitable impulse of the American people," said Feinberg.

June 15 was the deadline to mail or send a claim by courier. Feinberg will spend the rest of the month with his staff interviewing potential recipients and deciding on allocation before making payment recommendations to the city of Boston.

Any individual claimant may request an in-person or telephone meeting with Feinberg. Money is expected to be handed out by June 30.

The claims are divided into four categories: A - death, double amputation, permanent brain damage; B - single amputation; C - hospitalization for one night or more; D - outpatient emergency treatment.

The FAQ page on The One Fund website states that, "Claimants with 'permanent brain damage' along with claimants for death and victims with double amputations will be considered the most seriously injured and will receive the highest category of payment."

"I am confident that the amount will be well in excess of $1 million dollars tax free," Feinberg said about recipients in Category A.

"They [Category A claimants] will be receiving the same highest payments as the families who lost the four loved ones," added Feinberg.

Three people were killed and more than 260 injured during the April 15 bombings.

An MIT police officer was later killed in the chase to capture the two suspected bombers, brothers Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev.

In total, 15 victims of the Boston Marathon bombings suffered 17 amputations; two had double amputations.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy estimates the total lifetime cost of amputation at $509,275.

This includes initial hospitalization, follow-up hospitalizations, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient doctor visits, physical and occupational therapy and purchase and maintenance of prostheses.

"In programs like this, never seek or expect satisfaction or thanks or gratitude. Not from victims who have suffered such tragic loss. Money is a pretty poor substitute for loss and injury, and all we can do is provide some small degree of financial stability. But we cannot expect victims ... to see this as adequate or satisfactory," said Feinberg.

  • Jessica Hartogs On Twitter»

    Jessica Hartogs is a news editor for CBSNews.com. You can find her on Twitter: @jessicahartogs

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