A recent Justice Department settlement means you may be eligible for compensation if you used certain Amtrak stations between July 23, 2013 and December 2, 2020. A $2.25 million fund has been established to compensate travelers with a mobility disability who were harmed physically or emotionally because of accessibility issues at 78 Amtrak stations nationwide during that time. That includes Amtrak stations in Centralia and Effingham.

According to Justice Department officials, those stations did not meet the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). At those two stations the passenger platforms were not readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. Although the specific issues were not disclosed, examples include steep slopes, no detectable warnings at the platform edges, and ground surfaces that were not stable, firm, and slip resistant. The Effingham station was also cited for not having accessible bathrooms. In total, nine Amtrak stations in Illinois were cited by the Justice Department as non-ADA compliant, more than any other state.

Aside from the stations in Centralia and Effingham, the others were located in Gilman, Homewood, Mattoon, Plano, Princeton, Rantoul, and Summit. Three Missouri stations were also included in the settlement: Kirkwood, La Plata, and Poplar Bluff.

To be eligible for monetary compensation, travelers must have a mobility disability and must have been harmed due to inaccessibility issues at one or more of the affected stations from July 23, 2013 to December 2, 2020. All claims must be submitted no later than May 29, 2021. Other restrictions may apply. Questions about the claims process should be directed to the settlement administrator by any of the following methods:


Help is available for those who are unable to complete the claim form due to a disability.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio / www.AltonDailyNews.com)