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Last Updated: Friday, 6 July 2007, 22:03 GMT 23:03 UK
7/7 victims wait for compensation
Bombed bus
A London bus and three Tube trains were targeted on 7 July
Around a fifth of compensation claims made by victims of the 7/7 London bombings have still not been fully resolved two years after the event.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) said that 118 out of 614 applications were still being processed.

Some victims of the bombings claim they are struggling to deal with a complex and unwieldy system.

The CICA said it is always looking at how to make the system easier.

'Forgotten people'

As the second anniversary of the bombings approached, a spokesman for the CICA denied it had been "sitting on applications" for two years.

Most of the outstanding applications, he said, were either recent applications or had been paid an interim amount while details such as the cost of long-term care were calculated.

I would have been better off if I had been knocked down by a bus or a car
Thelma Stober, 7/7 survivor

Most of those who sustained serious injuries had submitted their applications. More recent applications tend to be claims for psychological damage, according to the CICA.

Of the 614 applications received since 7 July, 452 cases have been settled - compensation has been paid or the claim rejected and the decision accepted by the claimant.

A total of 4.2m has been paid out so far.

The CICA received 50 applications in 2007 - seven this week alone.

'Bureaucracy'

Lawyer Thelma Stober, who lost her leg in the explosion on the Circle Line train at Aldgate, said: "We are the forgotten people."

The 35-year-old has received 33,000 - the maximum value for the loss of a limb below the knee - but is still trying to get compensation for the rest of her injuries.

She told the Evening Standard: "I have got to the stage where even though I am a lawyer and I am used to dealing with large documentation and complicated forms I am so fed up with it."

She added: "I would have been better off if I had been knocked down by a bus or a car."

Campaigner Rachel North, who survived the Russell Square Piccadilly Line bombing which killed 26 people, wants the system improved for all victims.

She said: "It is not just the 7 July victims who struggle with bureaucracy in the face of disaster. The CICA is an unwieldy, bureaucratic system.

"I hope that by raising this issue, people who have the power to make things easier for victims of crime might look at how they can make it more supportive and smooth-running."

People struck by disaster were being asked to fill out complex application forms at a hugely challenging time for them and needed more support, she argued.

The CICA spokesman said there was a "certain inevitability" about some of the delays but said the authority was always looking how to make the process as easy as possible.




SEE ALSO
7 July report: Survivors' views
05 Jun 06 |  London

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