RALEIGH, N.C., July 26 (UPI) -- People sterilized decades ago in North Carolina because they were deemed unfit to have children will split $10 million in compensation, officials said.
The state Legislature included the money in the budget that was adopted Wednesday by the General Assembly, the Watauga Democrat reported.
North Carolina carried out forced sterilizations from 1929 to 1974. Many of the victims were teenagers and did not realize at the time what was being done to them.
Under the law, the money will be split equally among all identified victims. Claims must be submitted by June 30, 2014.
The North Carolina Department of Administration said 177 claimants have been approved so far. The state Eugenics Compensation Task Force said last year between 1,500 and 2,000 people may be eligible for compensation.
The task force has recommended payment of $50,000 to each person. But the amount will be far less than that if it is right about the numbers.