The first payments from the $3.4 billion Cobell trust fund settlement are making the rounds in Indian Country as a second deadline approaches for Indian beneficiaries.
People who have already received, or are due to receive, a $1,000 check for the Historical Accounting Class do not need to file a claim for the Trust Administration Class. They will receive the second payment automatically.
But those who believe they are belong to the Trust Administration Class have until March 1, 2013, to file a claim. The class includes:
1. Individual Indians who were alive on September 30, 2009, and who either had an Individual Indian Money (IIM) account recorded in currently available electronic data in federal government systems anytime from January 1, 1985 to September 30, 2009, or can demonstrate ownership in land held in trust or restricted status as of September 30, 2009;
People who have already submitted a claim for the Trust Administration Class do not need to re-file. They will be contacted by the Claims Administrator.
The minimum payment for the Trust Administration Class is expected to be $800. But many beneficiaries will receive more, based on the level of
activity in their IIM account.
In a December 11 order, Judge Thomas Hogan said the process to identify all members of the Trust Administration Class will run through July 2013. So beneficiaries can expect a payment sometime in the fall of 2013.
2. Estates (or heirs) of any deceased landowner or IIM account holder whose account was open or whose trust assets had been in probate according to the federal government’s records as of September 30, 2009.
Salazar (December 11, 2012)
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