AG: Changes to compensation fund will aid victims

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BOSTON (AP) - Attorney General Martha Coakley is praising state lawmakers for agreeing to increase funeral and burial payments as part of the state's victim compensation fund.

The changes, included in a version of the state budget approved by lawmakers Monday, would also create a new catastrophic injury category for victims suffering a lifelong disability.

Coakley said the changes will help guarantee crime victims receive needed services. The amendments were sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Flanagan, a Leominster Democrat.

The changes would increase the burial cap from $6,500 to $8,000 to keep up with rising funeral costs in Massachusetts and establish a catastrophic injury amount of $50,000 for victims who suffer lifelong disability injuries due to a violent crime.

The changes would also provide temporary debt collection protection for eligible claimants.

The budget is on Gov. Deval Patrick's desk.


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