Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | National

Cobell settlement checks landing in Indian Country mailboxes

The late Elouise Cobell meets President Barack Obama at the White House. December 8, 2010. Official Photo by Pete Souza

From $869 to several thousand dollars, Indian beneficiaries across the country are starting to receive the final payment from the $3.4 billion Cobell trust fund settlement.

After a long wait, the Garden City Group -- the firm that was appointed by the court to administer the settlement -- started sending out the checks on Monday. Beneficiaries in Montana, South Dakota, Arizona, Colorado, Florida and other states reported receiving their shares through posts on Facebook and Twitter.

"Got mine this morning," one beneficiary in Arizona said. "Got mine," another in Montana said.

Based on a review of social media posts, people Oklahoma -- home to a large number of beneficiaries -- didn't appear to have received any checks on Wednesday.

According to some beneficiaries who received their money, the checks were mailed from an address in Florida. It could take 5 to 7 days for the payments to arrive in mailboxes, the firm said.

The baseline payment for the Trust Administration Class will be $869, according to a motion that was filed in federal court last week. But many beneficiaries will receive more, depending on the level of activity in his or her Individual Indian Money (IIM) account.

The checks being sent out this week total $941.6 million, according to the motion.

The first payment from the settlement went out on December 2012. Every eligible beneficiary received a $1,000 check as part of the Historical Accounting Class.

Get the Story:
Crow post office busy as Cobell settlement checks arrive (The Billings Gazette 9/18)

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