9/11 health fund picks up decision-making and compensation pace after slow start


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NEW YORK — The fund that compensates people with illnesses related to the Sept. 11 attacks has picked up the pace of evaluating applications after a slow start.

The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund released data Thursday for the first half of the year.

As of the end of June, compensation decisions had been made for 1,145 claims, with a total dollar value of more than $322 million.

Last November, the fund came under criticism after making only 112 compensation decisions in its first 11 months of issuing payments. Special Master Sheila Birnbaum attributed that to bureaucratic issues.

On Thursday, Birnbaum said the fund was continuing to work on its procedures and staffing to increase processing speed. That includes hiring a team of people to deal solely with processing payments.

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