Welcome to the Cobell v. Salazar Settlement Website
Thank you to all who joined us for the Informational Webinar Regarding the Status of the Indian Trust Settlement, Distribution to Estates, and Determination Letters. If you would like a copy of the PowerPoint presentation, you can access it by clicking the below link:
Please note, we will be posting additional information on this website as it is available.
Determination Letters were sent on May 1, 2013, to all persons who validly submitted a Claim. For further information please refer to the FAQ’s on Determination Letters and Eligibility Documentation.
New Trust Administration Class Deadlines:
On April 9, 2013, the Court approved Plaintiffs’ Unopposed Motion to Modify Aspects of Class Action Administration and filed an Order Granting Motion to Modify Aspects of Class Action Administration which extends certain deadlines as listed below, authorizes claims postmarked by March 30, 2013 to be accepted as timely, directs the Claims Administrator to pay amounts otherwise due Class Members to holders of valid claims of lien or to lawfully appointed bankruptcy trustees, and authorizes the Special Master to hire and pay staff.
Updated deadlines for claimants who submitted claims in connection with the Trust Administration Class:
- May 1, 2013 – The Claims Administrator will mail letters detailing the initial determination of eligibility to all persons who filed a timely claim.
- July 1, 2013 – Written requests for reconsideration must be postmarked and sent with all supporting documentation to the Claims Administrator. It is important that all documentation supporting your claim as a member of the Trust Administration Class be provided to the Claims Administrator when you are asking for reconsideration.
- August 1, 2013 – The Claims Administrator must respond to any requests for reconsideration with a second determination of eligibility.
- September 4, 2013 – Written requests to appeal the second determination of class eligibility must be postmarked and sent to the Claims Administrator.
- Appeals will be reviewed by the Special Master, the Honorable Richard Levie (Ret.), who was appointed by the Court on December 19, 2012.
Historical Accounting Class
The Historical Accounting Class distribution has been very successful. Over 99% of all living Historical Accounting Class Member payments have been distributed.
Two principal challenges remain with respect to distribution of remaining Historical Accounting Class checks.
- Estates. There are approximately 38,500 deceased Class Members with awards that have not yet been distributed. Under the Court’s current order, distribution of those checks are to be made to the personal representative, administrator, or executor of the estate of that individual or to the heirs of that beneficiary pursuant to a state or tribal probate order. Therefore, if you are an heir of a deceased Class Member we encourage you to send documentation to the Claims Administrator which details the identity of the personal representative, executor or administrator or a copy of the final state or tribal probate order. Under the current court order, a federal probate order is not sufficient. If a state or tribal estate has not been opened, we encourage you to open a state or tribal estate and arrange for the appointment of an executor, administrator or personal representative of the estate in order to expedite payment of these checks.
- Whereabouts Unknown. Some checks have not been distributed due to insufficient addresses for Class Members. If you have not received a check and are a member of the Historical Accounting Class, please contact the Claims Administrator and provide a current address. OST maintains a list of those beneficiaries who are considered “whereabouts unknown.” A copy of that list can be found at http://www.doi.gov/ost/wau/index.cfm.
Some people are offering to make loans or do other business with Class Members who will receive payments from the Settlement. The Plaintiffs in Cobell v. Salazar have NOT authorized or endorsed any such activity. Please be careful about releasing your bank account numbers or other confidential information to others.
The Plaintiffs in Cobell v. Salazar have NOT authorized or endorsed any such activity. Please be careful about releasing your bank account numbers or other confidential information to others.
Additionally, please note if you are a Class Member you do not have to pay any money to the Indian Trust Settlement under any circumstances in order to receive your benefits. If someone asks you for some kind of payment and claims to be from the Indian Trust Settlement please do not send any money.
If you have any questions, please call the Toll-Free number on this website.
This website will be updated as more information becomes available. Please check back periodically for important updates regarding the Settlement.