By David B. Caruso
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — A special fund set up by Congress is making its first payments to people who got sick after being exposed to toxic dust at the World Trade Center following Sept. 11.
A group of 15 first responders with respiratory problems will be the first to get awards from the 9/11 victim compensation fund.
Their payouts range from $10,000 to $1.5 million.
It will be years, though, before the group sees all that money.
Officials don't yet know how many people will apply for aid from the $2.78 billion fund, or the severity of their illnesses.
That means they can't yet calculate each person's share.
So for now, applicants are getting only 10 percent of their award.
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The remainder won't be paid until after the fund closes to new applicants in 2016.