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Judge appoints special master to help with Cobell settlement

Filed Under: Cobell
More on: per caps

A special master has been appointed to aid with the distribution of funds from the $3.4 billion Cobell trust fund settlement.

Among other tasks, Richard A. Levie, a former federal judge, will determine membership in the Trust Administration Class. Beneficiaries who received, or are due to receive, a $1,000 check for the Historical Accounting Class are included but others who believe they are eligible must file a claim by March 1, 2013.

The claims administrator for the settlement has until April 15, 2013, to determine eligibility for the Trust Administration Class. Individual Indians who don't agree must file a request for reconsideration by May 15, 2013.

A second determination will then be made by June 14, 2013. Any appeals must be filed by July 15, 2013, so Levie can make a decision.

The seven-month process will help ensure that individual Indians get enough time to stake a claim to the settlement. Once it's complete, the Trust Administration Class payment -- which is expected to be a minimum of $800 -- can be distributed.

Many beneficiaries, however, will receive more money. The amount is based on the level of activity in their Individual Indian Money (IIM) account.

Relevant Documents:
Cobell v. Salazar (December 19, 2012)

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