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Three years after the Brussels terror attacks: 64 percent of the victims still waiting for compensation

Next Friday, 22 March, it will be three years ago to the day that two bomb blasts in the capital sent a shock wave through Belgium. For the moment, only 36 percent of the dozens of victims has received a full financial compensation, the Sunday weekly De Zondag writes. 

One blast at Brussels Airport and another in the Brussels metro, near Maalbeek, killed 35 people. 340 others got injured.  However, while the traumatised victims were confronted with extra costs, many had to wait a long time for a compensation.

The reimbursement of medical costs is one of the main problems. Victims are also being confronted with a lot of red tape, which is an extra mental burden for those trying to block out the past as much as possible. 

The reimbursement of medical costs is one of the main problems

Insurers told the VRT that it is not always possible to reimburse some victims in the short run because their situation can change. The umbrella organisation Assuralia says it's not uncommon that some dossiers take a long time. "For some victims we don't know what their situation will be in the future. Some may get better in the short run, while others can get worse, which would entitle them to a higher compensation." 

Last week, one of the victims of the Brussels attacks, Philippe Vandenberghe, stopped his hunger strike after 25 days. Vandenberghe is a member of V-Europe, an organisation defending the interests of all terror victims. 

Insurers apply the method "deny till they die"

Speaking in the VRT's morning radio show, Christian De Coninck, the former spokesman for the Brussels police, said he is now suffering from a post-traumatic stress disorder. This only emerged 8 months after the terrorist attacks. 

He is at loggerheads with insurers, who fail to link his illness to the blasts, despite him being present at the exit of the Maalbeek metro station, where the first victims came out. "Insurers apply the method "deny till they die"," he said.