Financial Assistance for Victims
Please provide your contact information to The One Fund Boston if you were injured, had a family member injured or had a family member killed, in the April 15, 2013 attack on Boston, or in the related events that followed. Resources are also available to assist any home or vehicle modifications needed to facilitate a patient’s rehabilitation. There will be an expedited process for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and their families.
The Massachusetts Office of Victims Assistance has many resources. The comprehensive services listed include trauma support, counseling, bereavement groups, financial resources and many others. Services are free of charge, available to victims of any age and services are located throughout the state. Eligibility for services will be determined by the service provider.
The Victim Compensation Fund, administered by the Attorney General’s Office (AGO), assists eligible victims and their families with expenses that are not covered by other funding sources. The Attorney General's Victim Compensation & Assistance Division is able, by statute, to provide financial assistance to eligible victims of violent crime for uninsured medical and dental care, mental health counseling, funeral and burial costs, and loss of income or financial support as a result of crime-related injury. The AGO's Victim Compensation & Assistance Division is funded largely by fines levied against perpetrators of crime.
Crisis Counseling and Support
Events of mass violence can trigger overwhelming feelings of anxiety, anger or fear. A number of resources have been identified to help families and individuals cope with the trauma, grief and aftermath of this incident. Mass 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to direct you to community resources in your area. Calls are always a confidential.
Tips for Survivors of a Traumatic Event: Managing Your Stress: This tip sheet outlines the common signs of stress after a disaster and provides stress reduction strategies.
Federal Disaster Distress Helpline
Immediate counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the aftermath of this tragedy is available. It is free, confidential, and multilingual services are available. Call: 1-800-985-5990, or Text TalkWithUs to 66746. Callers and texters are connected to trained and caring professionals from crisis counseling centers in the network. The helpline staff provides confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services.
In-Person Counseling Support
There are many in-person resources available. Individuals are encouraged to check with their employer’s Employee Assistance Program and/or personal physician for a referral to a behavioral health clinician. In many cases health insurers, including MassHealth, provide coverage for mental health support services.
Tips for Managing and Preventing Stress: A Guide for Emergency Response and Public Safety Workers: This fact sheet gives organizational and individual tips for stress prevention and management for emergency response workers and public safety workers. It describes normal reactions to a disaster, signs of the need for stress management, and ways to handle stress.
Dealing with the Effects of Trauma: A Self-Help Guide: This guide provides more in-depth information on recovering from a traumatic event and is geared toward those whose reactions may be lingering.
American Red Cross’s Disaster Mental Health Services: http://www.redcross.org/find-help/disaster-recovery/recovering-emotionally
Assistance for Tax Filers
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue will grant automatic extensions of time until July 15, 2013 for certain tax filings and payments normally required to be made by affected taxpayers on April 16, 2013. Affected taxpayers include all individual taxpayers living in Suffolk County and all other Massachusetts personal income tax filers and business and corporate taxpayers whose income or corporate excise filings and payments were adversely impacted by the explosions on April 15, 2013.
Taxpayers whose filings and payments were adversely impacted by the explosions may include those whose tax preparers or availability of needed records were directly impacted by the explosions. The extension is automatic and taxpayers need not seek prior approval if they file electronically. Taxpayers who file a paper return or extension should mark at the top in red ink “Boston Marathon 2013.”
Driving and Accessibility Modifications
Information and applications regarding Disabled Parking Placards and Plates can be found at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Medical Affairs branch. For RMV Medical Affairs forms: http://www.massrmv.com/rmv/forms/medaff.htm. For Disabled Parking Placards and Plates: http://www.massrmv.com/rmv/forms/20060.pdf.
Sources of funding for Home and Vehicle Modifications:
- Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s (MRC) Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program – Provides home modifications for eligible individuals needing entrance and egress of the home to go to work or to training. The funding cap is $12,000. MRC can also provide some technical assistance and consultation for non-VR eligible individuals.
- Home Modification Loan Program – Provides up to $30,000 in loan funds for a homeowner with a disability or a family member with a disability to modify their primary residence. The program is income based and offers 0% or 3% loans. 0% loans are not paid back until the home is sold or transferred.
- Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund – This Massachusetts Department of Public Health program assists families to bear the excessive financial burdens associated with the care of children with special health care needs and disabilities. Medically related home modifications are expenses eligible for reimbursement.
- Assistive Technology Loan Program provides a low interest loan (3.75%) for eligible individuals to purchase a driver’s evaluation, training and cost of vehicle and modifications. This MRC Program is administered by Easter Seals in partnership with Sovereign Bank.