America, on occasion you really take care of your own. After the Boston Marathon bombing, people and companies pulled together more than $60 million that's now being disbursed to 232 people who were hurt or killed in the attack and its aftermath. Two double amputees and the families of four people who died (three in the blasts, plus the M.I.T. cop who was shot during the manhunt) will receive nearly $2.2 million apiece, while single amputees will each receive almost $1.2 million. Checks are going out this weekend. The lump-sum payments are tax-free.
The grim actuarial determinations fell to Kenneth Feinberg, who previously decided similar disbursements for 9/11 and Deepwater Horizon victims. The Washington Post got a quote from him that will reaffirm your faith in your countrymen: "It was always our intention to get [the most gravely affected] a million dollars. And as the funds kept coming in, we were able to push that up.”
The full breakdown of payments is as follows, via the CBS affiliate in Boston:
• Six people who either had family members killed in the blasts, lost multiple limbs or suffered permanent brain damage would each be receiving $2,195,000.
• An additional 14 people who lost limbs would receive $1,195,000.
• Remaining funds were broken down by length of hospital stay. A total of 69 people spent at least one night in the hospital as a result of the bombings. Funds were broken down accordingly:
• $948,300 for 32 or more overnights
• $735,000 for 24-31 overnights
• $580,000 for 16-23 overnights
• $480,000 for 8-15 overnights
• $275,000 for 3-7 overnights
• $125,000 for 1-2 overnights
• The remaining 143 victims were treated on an emergency outpatient basis. Each will receive $8,000.
You can still give to the One Fund Boston; it'll keep giving money out so long as people keep sending money in. The fellow you see up top, James Costello, spent 27 nights in two hospitals and thus will receive almost three-quarters of a million dollars. He told the Post he has good medical insurance but hasn't been able to work since the April 15 attack. “When I got blown up," he said, "who’d have thought we’d get anything?” It is rather remarkable, in all. We're not so keen on welfare generally — helping people endure the misfortunes and shit luck that're 100 percent inevitable on a national scale — but if you're hurt or killed in a high-profile act of malice or in a natural catastrophe, Americans do our best not to let suffering abide.
Boston Marathon bombing victims will split $60.9 million [Washington Post]
Photo credit of James Costello from May 10: AP