Virginia Tech Increases Aid to Victims
USA, Aug 20: Families of the Virginia Tech students and faculty members shot to death by a student in April will
receive more compensation than originally planned, university officials
Each of the families of the 32 people killed will be eligible for $180,000,
about $30,000 more than had been envisioned.
In addition, those among the 26 wounded who spent at least 10 days in the
hospital will be eligible for $90,000 and a waiver of tuition and fees for the
remainder of the time it takes them to complete their degrees at the university.
Those who spent three to nine days in the hospital will receive $40,000 plus the
tuition and fee waiver, and those hospitalized less than three days, as well as
other students and faculty members present in classrooms where shootings
occurred, can take a waiver of tuition and fees or a single $10,000 payment.
The terms apply equally to in-state and out-of-state students. All claims
must be filed by Sept. 15.
The money will be disbursed from the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund, which was
created by the university after the massacre and received some $7.7 million in
private donations. The fund is administered by Kenneth R. Feinberg, a leading lawyer who was special master of the September 11th
Victim Compensation Fund.
Mr. Feinberg said his initial estimates of the Virginia Tech fund's benefits
had been intentionally low because he did not know how many families would
qualify for compensation. He added that the fund had received an additional
$250,000 in donations during the last five weeks.
Mr. Feinberg also said that those who were in the dormitory where the first
two killings occurred, about two and a half hours before the mass shootings in a
classroom building, were not eligible for compensation because there was not
enough money in the fund.
Families of the 32 killed can be reimbursed for psychological counseling
through the state's Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund, he said.
The New York Times