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Marathon bombings

One Fund payments will include those treated as outpatients

Ken Feinberg, administrator of The One Fund Boston.

Brian Snyder/REUTERS

Ken Feinberg, administrator of The One Fund Boston.

A fund to benefit victims of the Boston Marathon bombings will distribute payments to people treated as outpatients, in addition to those hospitalized and to families of those killed, according to final rules issued Wednesday for distributing the money.

Compensating those who were treated and released after the attacks one month ago is a principal change to the proposed distribution formula announced last week by the administrator of The One Fund Boston, Kenneth Feinberg. The charity has raised more than $30 million so far from individuals and corporations.

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The families of those killed, people who lost more than one limb, and those with permanent brain damage will get the largest payments, according to the formula. No dollar amounts have been formally established, though Feinberg told the Globe this month that those in the top category could receive well over $1 million each.

In the difficult weighing of human misery caused by the attack, single amputees are on the next tier, followed by those who spent one or more nights in the hospital. Patients treated and released Marathon Day will receive the lowest payments.

Feinberg, a Washington, D.C., lawyer and a Brockton native, said Wednesday that outpatients were made eligible in response to comments at public hearings on the distribution formula, in which a number of victims said they were treated for significant wounds but sent home by hospitals burdened by a crush of grievously injured.

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“We figured with $30 million we could afford give something modest,” he said, speaking of outpatients.

About 264 people were hurt when two crude bombs laced with nails and ball bearings exploded near the finish line of the city’s historic road race. Three people died in the blasts.

The family of slain MIT police Officer Sean Collier, allegedly slain several days after the attack by bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is eligible to apply, Feinberg said. Victims have until June 15 to apply and submit relevant records.

Feinberg has said local officials have urged him to get the money to victims swiftly, and he expects the fund to begin payments June 30. The money should be fully distributed within a few days, he said.

He has been unable to offer exact dollar figures for each category because he is unsure how much money will be available once he is ready to disburse it, and he does not yet have a complete record of the injuries.

Feinberg — who has administered similar funds after the 9/11 attacks, the BP oil spill, and the Virginia Tech mass shooting — has said distributing money from the fund was a “horrible undertaking” that cannot satisfy everyone.

Some attorneys have expressed concern that Feinberg has oversimplified the process to speed up the payouts and will not take into account the victims’ expenses, lost income, or other financial needs, as is typically done in determining legal judgments.

“I think it’s just too fast,” said Paul A. Finn, chief executive of Commonwealth Mediation & Conciliation Inc. “I am not sure the needs of the individuals are going to be met.

“My major concern is that there isn’t enough need-based analysis,” said Finn, who has experience mediating victim legal claims, including those involving victims of sexual abuse by priests of the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.

Paul E. White — a trial attorney and partner with Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen in Boston — said Feinberg has not provided enough information about what factors he will consider in judging the extent of victims’ injuries to qualify for the maximum payments so victims can be sure to include that information in their claims.

“It’s not transparent enough,” said White, who is leading an effort by the Massachusetts Bar Association to help victims who need legal help.

Victims and their families will probably not have to pay taxes on any money they receive from the One Fund, said Scott B. Kaplowitch, a partner with the Boston accounting firm Edelstein & Co.

Also this week, the One Fund Boston received formal approval from the IRS to become a tax-exempt nonprofit, a move that will clear the way for the fund to receive millions of dollars in pledges that were contingent on the IRS approval.

In addition to the One Fund, many victims have set up their own funds. Dozens of families have collectively raised more than $4 million on two crowdfunding sites, GoFundMe and GiveForward.

Mark Arsenault can be reached at marsenault@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @bostonglobemark.
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