The first phase of the program will give “priority” in compensation to those who have already filed a complaint about abuse committed by a member of the clergy.
The statement from the IVCP confirmed that abuse survivors who have not previously reported their abuse will be eligible to join phase II of the program. These claims will be reviewed by Feinberg and Biros, and survivors will be compensated if their claims are found eligible.
According to the IVCP, Feinberg and Biros will “act independently” in their administration when evaluating claims and deciding levels of compensation. The dioceses will not be able to appeal the decisions made by the administrators.
“[The participating dioceses] have assured us that we have complete discretion in deciding who is eligible to receive compensation and the amount to be paid to the individual victim,” Biros said in the statement.
The IVCP has been in the works since mid-November 2018. At that time, a statement was published by the Archdiocese of Newark announcing that some sort of compensation program would come together in the near future.
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A draft of the IVCP protocol will be released on March 1, and a final version will be implemented after a 30-day comment period. After the final version is adopted, the IVCP will commence receiving claims.
All claims must be submitted before December 31, 2019.
The IVCP is limited to those who were abused as minors. According to a spokesperson for Feinberg and Biros there are no plans at this time to create a similar fund for those who were abused as adults, including by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.