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One Fund Boston Director Worries Donations Won't Be Enough

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ONE FUND BOSTON AMPUTEES
In this Thursday, May 9, 2013 photo, Marc Fucarile reacts to pain in his room at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Fucarile was only feet away from a bomb blast Monday, April 15 near the finish line of the Boston Marathon that resulted in the loss of one leg, severe damage to the other, as well as burns, and a piece of shrapnel lodged in his heart. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) | AP

Double amputees and families of victims killed during the Boston Marathon attacks will get the most money from the One Fund Boston.

Kenneth Feinberg, the attorney overseeing the fund for the victims most affected by the attacks, released a statement Wednesday explaining how and when the money collected will be distributed, the Boston Globe reported. Feinberg hasn’t yet specified how much money will be distributed to recipients, but victims’ incomes will not be taken into account and checks will start going out as soon as June 30.

Feinberg has designed four categories of compensation: Families of victims killed, double amputees and those who sustained brain damage will get the most money, according to the Washington Post. The next category includes people who lost a single limb. Those who required overnight hospitalization fall into the third category and people who were treated as outpatients will get the least amount.

Four people were killed, including Sean Collier, the MIT police officer who died during a confrontation with the bombing suspects, and 264 people were injured. In total, 15 victims suffered 17 amputations and two had double amputations, according to CBS.

While Feinberg said he’s confident that he’ll be able to expedite the distribution process, he’s concerned that there will not be enough funds to go around and people will inevitably be disappointed.

“If Mayor Menino told me one thing in accepting this assignment, he said ‘Ken, make sure you lower people's expectations,’” Feinberg told NPR. “When you've got 20 single or double amputees, four dead, scores still in the hospital, there's not enough money to distribute.”

To date, the One Fund has collected more than $30 million.

Feinberg has overseen a number of high-profile funds, including the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and the charities for the victims of the Aurora and Virginia Tech shootings. But this situation is unique in that income isn’t a factor as it was after September 11 and there are more devastating injuries than any other situation he’s handled.

The $7 billion 9/11 fund took into consideration how much high-powered executives killed in the tragedy would have earned as compared with how much janitors who worked in the World Trade Center would’ve made over the course of a lifetime, Feinberg told NPR. However, victims' income in this situation will not be a factor in deciding how much money to allocate.

The other distinct issue is the exorbitant cost of medical care that people who were severely injured in the blasts will have to face.

An amputee will be slapped with an estimated $509, 275 in medical bills, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy.

Complicating the issue is the fact that many insurance companies have put caps and restrictions on coverage for prosthetics, CBS reported. Below-the-knee prosthetics run between $10,000 to $12,000 and are usually replaced every three to five years and above-the-knee prostheses cost between $50,000 to $60,000, Dr. David Crandell, Inpatient Medical Director of the Amputee Program at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, told the news outlet.

"The horrible characteristic of the marathon is the seriousness of the injuries, just horrific,” Feinberg told CBS. “Amputations and brain injuries and burns ... I've never seen physical injuries as pronounced and as diverse as in Boston.”

Find out how you can donate to the One Fund Boston here.

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