Budget deal to bring compensation soon for Eugenics victims - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Budget deal to bring compensation soon for Eugenics victims

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Elnora Mills is one of at least 180 victims of state-ordered sterilization who will soon be compensated by the state of North Carolina Elnora Mills is one of at least 180 victims of state-ordered sterilization who will soon be compensated by the state of North Carolina
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) -

Elnora Mills of Brunswick County may soon get paid for a decision made by the state of North Carolina 47 years ago.

Mills is one of 180 victims approved by the North Carolina Industrial Commission to receive money from the Eugenics Compensation Program, for being sterilized without her own knowledge.

The Eugenics Board of North Carolina ordered Mills to be sterilized "for mental reasons" in 1967, when she was 16 years old. She is one of approximately 7,600 men and women sterilized under the Eugenics Program, which ran from 1929-1974.

Lawmakers originally planned to compensate all qualified victims on June 30, 2015, from a fund containing $10 million. But the 2014-15 budget passed by the General Assembly and signed today by Gov. Pat McCrory changed those plans.

The victims will now receive two payments, with the first coming on October 31, 2014. A second and final payment will be received after all appeals of denied claims are decided.

"We don't know how much it is going to be," said Mills, 63, when contacted Thursday afternoon. "I hope we get what we are entitled to and deserve. I know it will help me a lot."

According to a news release from the NC Department of Administration, the Office for Justice of Sterilization Victims received 780 claims from people who say they were victims of the Eugenics Program.

The Industrial Commission has reviewed 500 claims as of July 31, 2014, and resulted in the 180 claims qualifying for compensation. Officials have requested more information on about 200 of the claims.

According to the budget, the first payment will be calculated by dividing the total number of qualified victims and pending claims into $10 million. The second payment will be decided by dividing the balance of the $10 million by the final number of qualified victims. Again, that will not be sent until all appeals of denied claims are decided.

"We're happy that the compensation will arrive to the victims sooner than later," said Chris Mears, Public Information Officer for the NC Department of Administration. "We're finding that a lot of victims are passing away."

Mears said there are approximately 280 claims pending as of August 7.

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