BOSTON – The administrator of the Boston Marathon victims' compensation fund said just five people have filed applications as of Tuesday, and is urging those affected by the blasts to fill out the paperwork before time runs out.
The families of the four people killed in the April 15 bombings and the ensuing manhunt, as well as the more than 260 who suffered physical injuries, have until June 15 to complete their applications, One Fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg said.
After that, they're not eligible.
"You would be amazed at how people in grief, with all sorts of uncertainty about their lives, don't file," Feinberg told the Boston Herald.
More than $31 million in corporate and private donations had been pledged to the One Fund as of Wednesday.
Feinberg saw similar procrastination while serving as special master of the 9/11 Victims' Compensation Fund, as well as other compensation funds he has overseen.
The application process has been made as simple as possible, he said. All that's needed is a one-page statement from the hospital where a victim was treated and a completed and notarized One Fund form.
The Massachusetts Bar Association is even providing free legal advice to people who need help filling out the three-page form.
Brittany Loring, whose skull was fractured in the blasts, said filling out paperwork may be difficult for some.
"The application itself seems really simple, but given that many of the survivors have longstanding injuries, these simple tasks may take a little bit longer," she said, adding that she has not filed her claim yet.
Feinberg has said that the families of those killed as well as victims who lost two limbs are likely to get about $1 million each, with other victims getting varying amounts based on the extent of their injuries and the length of their hospital stays. People who suffered psychologically are not eligible.
The funds will be distributed by June 30.