Thursday, September 29, 2016
$40 Million Approved for Meningitis Outbreak Victims
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
The U.S. Department of Justice has approved a $40 million grant request that will go into a fund to benefit victims of the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak and victims can begin applying to the Massachusetts Attorney General whose office is administering the fund.
Information on the grant approval and the application procedure were disclosed Thursday in separate announcements.
U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop, a Michigan Republican, whose district was particularly hard hit in the outbreak disclosed that the application for the $40 million had been approved. The grant will go to the Massachusetts Attorney General's office which had applied for the funds.
Chloe Gotsis, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General said a special division will be set up to handle grant applications.
To be eligible victims must either be on an official victims' list compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston, Mass. which conducted the criminal investigation of the outbreak.
Gotsis said her office will not be making separate eligibility determinations
Applicants can fill out the needed forms online at the Attorney General's office.
( learn how to apply for compensation at this link)
"I am grateful for the work of the DOJ and my House colleagues in our fight for justice," Bishop said in announcing the approval.
"These families have gone through unimaginable heartache losing loved ones, caring for the sick and facing financial uncertainty for the last four years," Bishop added.
The $40 million will come from a national fund for victims of crimes, which is comprised of fines and assessments on defendants sued or prosecuted by DOJ.
Fifteen of the 19 Michigan victims of the outbreak who died, lived in Bishop's district. Nationwide 77 patients died out of the 778 who were sickened.