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Families Meet Privately With Overseer Of Sept. 11 Compensation

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Relatives of some of some the September 11 victims seeking to increase federal compensation had a private meeting Tuesday with the man in charge of distributing the funds.

NY1 has learned the two-hour meeting took place Tuesday afternoon at the Midtown office of Victims Compensation Fund Special Master Ken Feinberg.

One person who attended the meeting told NY1 that Feinberg would not budge from the $$250,000 cap on pain and suffering compensation, though he said he would do everything he could to maximize awards.

NY1 was unable to reach Feinberg for comment.

A growingly vocal group of victims' families has challenged Feinberg's formula for distributing compensation, which awards the flat rate for pain and suffering with more money based on the income and the size of the family of individual victims.

The families say the pain and suffering award should be higher, and they charge the formula sets arbitrary limits on estimated lost earnings. The group of families also wants Feinberg to drop the provision that subtracts any insurance or pension money from the final award.

Following a number of recent press conferences to press their case, several victims' family organizations are planning to protest on the Upper East Side Thursday.

The September 11 Victims Compensation Fund was established by Congress in a $$15 billion bailout of the airline industry. By participating in the fund, claimants forfeit their right to sue anyone for compensation.

The legislation empowers an independent administrator to establish the rules for distributing funds. Under the guidelines Feinberg made after being named to that post, individual awards could vary greatly, with the average expected to be $$1.65 million.

Feinberg is accepting recommendations on how to change the rules until January 22. The fund has already been accepting applications since December.
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