DENVER — Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 — Ken Feinberg, who served as special master for the Aurora Victim Relief Fund, announced today payment decisions are complete and victims will receive money in the coming days.
The families of the 12 people killed in the Aurora movie theater, as well as victims who suffered permanent brain damage or permanent physical paralysis, will receive 70 percent of the final fund balance. The remaining 30 percent of the final fund balance is going to victims who suffered physical injuries; the disbursements are based on the number of days they stayed in a hospital.
The fund closed on Thursday, Nov. 15, with a final balance of $5,338,360.32. The Governor’s Office processed claims for 57 individuals -- 38 claims were approved by Feinberg and 19 claims were denied because they did not qualify under previously announced protocols. The final payments are:
Due to the limited amount of money in the fund, victims who did not require overnight hospitalization and claims for mental trauma cannot be compensated. Free counseling for all victims is still available.
“These payments won’t replace loved ones who died or completely heal all wounds,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. “But through the generosity of others we hope victims and their families can use this money to continue their recovery. We are especially grateful to Ken Feinberg and Community First Foundation for their efforts to handle and distribute the fund.”
At the governor’s request, Community First Foundation created the Aurora Victim Relief Fund to help the victims and their families. Feinberg later agreed to serve as special master for the fund at the request of Hickenlooper, Community First Foundation and the 7/20 Recovery Committee.
Feinberg used his expertise and experience from handling past victim funds to develop protocols to fairly and quickly disburse money from the Aurora Victim Relief Fund. As part of his process, Feinberg gathered victim input at two public meetings in October. He also reviewed feedback previously collected from three victim meetings and a victim survey conducted by the 7/20 Recovery Committee.
Feinberg is working on a final report about the Aurora Victim Relief Fund that will be released in December.
Community First Foundation has retained Ehrhardt Keefe Steiner & Hottman, P.C., to conduct an independent audit of the fund. Preliminary work began on Oct. 29. The audit results will be released when complete on the foundation’s website (www.communityfirstfoundation.org) and will be presented as part of Feinberg’s final report.
“We are honored to have helped the community express its compassion for the victims and their families,” said Marla Williams, President and CEO of Community First Foundation.
Feinberg is a nationally-recognized expert in handling relief funds created after other various tragedies and disasters and is best known for serving as the Special Master of the Federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001. In that role he reached out to all who qualified to file a claim, evaluated applications, determined appropriate compensation and disseminated awards.
Feinberg did not receive payment of any fees or expenses while assisting with the Aurora Victim Relief Fund.
About the Aurora Victim Relief Fund
In the wake of the Aurora movie theater shootings, Gov. John Hickenlooper called on Community First Foundation to establish a fund to help the victims and community. In response to the governor’s request, the Foundation created the Aurora Victim Relief Fund. Community First Foundation did not take any administration fees to manage the fund. In addition, Community First Foundation paid all credit card fees for online donations; 100 percent of every donation went to the fund. Accrued interest earned on the fund was also added.