Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement

Second Cobell payment won't be mailed out before Christmas





The second payment from the $3.4 billion Cobell trust fund settlement won't be going out before Christmas as anticipated.

A notice on IndianTrust.Com says the payments are expected in early 2014. The Interior Department is still verifying who is eligible.

"The Settlement Agreement approved by Congress and the Courts requires identification of all Trust Administration Class Members and calculation of their respective pro rata shares by the Department of the Interior before The Garden City Group, the Claims Administrator for the Cobell Settlement, can mail Trust Administration Class payments," the notice states. "That work is ongoing and is nearly complete."

"Thus, if the class membership is finally determined in December, the payments can then be made in the first quarter of 2014 barring any unexpected issues," the notice continues.

The delay will put a damper on holiday spending in Indian Country. The first payment of $1,000 went out just before Christmas in 2012.

A total of 327,957 beneficiaries qualified for the historical accounting portion of the settlement, according to information presented during a conference call in May

The second payment covers the trust administration portion of the settlement. This class is turning out to be a much larger group of people -- approximately 470,000 beneficiaries.

The minimum payment for the trust administration class is $800. But many people will receive more, based on the level of activity in their Individual Indian Money (IIM) account.

Related Stories:
Native Sun News: Second Cobell check expected by Christmas (11/07)