Aurora theater shooting fund plan: No money to mentally injured, non-hospitalized victims
Update below: The families of the twelve people who died in the Aurora theater shooting and the victims who were brain injured or paralyzed will split 70 percent of the $5 million left in the Aurora Victim Relief Fund, while those who suffered less severe physical injuries will share the remaining 30 percent, according to a protocol engineered by the fund's "special master" Ken Feinberg and announced this morning by Governor John Hickenlooper's office.
Update, October 15, 4:38 p.m.: A representative of the majority of the families who lost loved ones sent this statement in response to the news:
The majority of the families of the deceased recognize the need for more donations and are working tirelessly behind the scenes to raise additional funds. We are in the process of aligning with a trusted, nationally-recognized organization to ensure victims of the theater shooting -- the physically and emotionally injured in theater 9 and the physically injured in theater 8 -- will receive donations past the November 15 deadline imposed by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.
Original post, October 15, 11:58 a.m.: The families of the twelve people who died in the Aurora theater shooting and the victims who were brain injured or paralyzed will split 70 percent of the $5 million left in the Aurora Victim Relief Fund, while those who suffered less severe physical injuries will share the remaining 30 percent, according to a protocol engineered by the fund's "special master" Ken Feinberg and announced this morning by Governor John Hickenlooper's office.
The announcement comes a few days after Feinberg met with victims to discuss his then-tentative plan for distributing the funds, which does not include giving money to victims who witnessed the massacre but weren't hurt. "We don't have enough money," Feinberg said in response to a question at a meeting on October 11. "The psychologically injured should be eligible. I'm not saying they don't have a valid claim. But you're taking money away from the physically injured, the dead, the life-altering injuries."
The families of the dead and the victims who suffered life-altering injuries will likely receive about $200,000 each, according to the governor's office. The payments to the rest of the physically injured will be based on how long they spent in the hospital.
There are three tiers of injury: victims hospitalized for twenty days or more, victims hospitalized for between eight and nineteen days; and victims hospitalized for between one and seven days. Victims who didn't require overnight hospitalization won't receive any money "due to the limited amount of money in the fund," the release says.
Victims must fill out claim forms, which the governor's office says they received today. They have until November 1 to fill them out. From November 1 to November 9, Feinberg will be available to meet with victims one-on-one to discuss their claim. The money will be disbursed as soon as possible after November 15, the governor's office says.
"We are extremely grateful to Ken Feinberg for his service to victims and their families and to the state of Colorado," Hickenlooper said in a statement. "He has proven once again why he is the nation's leading expert in handling these kinds of matters. Those most impacted by the theater shooting are best served by a speedy and fair distribution of the Aurora Victim Relief Fund and Ken is delivering as promised."
Feinberg previously served as the special master for the funds for the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, the shooting at Virginia Tech and the BP oil spill.
Today is the last day to donate to the fund online through GivingFirst.org, a website run by the nonprofit Community First Foundation. Families representing eleven of the twelve deceased victims have asked the state to investigate the foundation for using the names and photos of their loved ones to solicit money without their permission.
Donations will be accepted by check until November 15. Checks can be sent to: Aurora Victim Relief Fund c/o Governor's Office, 136 State Capitol, Denver, CO 80203.
For more, read our Aurora Theater Shooting archive.Follow me on Twitter @MelanieAsmar or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org