Survivors of the Sewol ferry disaster and relatives of its victims have filed more than 100 applications for compensation from the South Korean government.
But submissions are set to accelerate ahead of a deadline on 28 September, said the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF).
“We expect more than 100 survivors to seek compensation for medical treatment and post-traumatic stress during the next two months,” said the ministry.
By 7 July, applications had been received from the families of only 86 of the 304 dead or missing and just 16 of the 157 eligible survivors (which excludes 15 crew, since convicted on charges relating to the sinking).
Of the 86 applications from victims’ families, 65 are for students of Danwon High School. When it capsized on 16 April 2014 the ferry was varying 325 pupils from the school, of whom only 75 survived.
The MOF said applications picked up after the government announced compensation levels: about KRW820 million (USD721,646) for families of the students, KRW1.14 billion for teachers’ families, and varying amounts to the families of other passengers who died.
“Twenty-eight applications were received from April to May, after the compensation amount was just decided,” said the MOF. “This rose to 56 applications in June.”
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Of the KRW820 million for students’ families, KRW300 million will come from the Community Chest of Korea and KRW100 million from Danwon High School’s travel insurance policy. The figure also includes KRW420 million for a lifetime’s lost salary plus KRW100 million calculated from traffic and industrial accident compensation laws.
Sewol capsized during a routine Incheon-Jeju trip, leaving 304 of 476 passengers and crew dead or missing. Nine bodies remain unrecovered and salvage works are expected to begin in September, after the related tender closed on 23 June.