Victims of Aurora theater shooting to receive donated funds soon

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Aurora theater shooting, July 20, 2012

Aurora theater shooting, July 20, 2012

Payments from the Aurora Victim Relief Fund were finalized Friday for the victims and families of those killed in the July 20th Aurora theater shooting.

Ken Feinberg, who served as special master for the Aurora Victim Relief Fund, approved 38 claims and denied 19 claims of the 57 processed by the Colorado Governor’s Office.

The fund’s final balance of $5,338,360.32 will be given in the upcoming days to families of those who died and to victims who required overnight hospitalization.

According to a statement released by Governor Hickenlooper’s office, victims who did not require overnight hospitalization and claims for mental trauma cannot be compensated due to limited amount of money in the fund.

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 each receive $220,000. The six victims who were hospitalized for 20 days or more will each receive $160,000.

The remaining victims hospitalized for less than 19 days will receive payments based on the number of days stayed in the hospital.

The two claimants hospitalized between eight and 19 days will will each receive $91,680.  Thirteen people hospitalized between one and seven days will each receive $35,000.

“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.”

Feinberg, who received no payment for his work and is best known for serving as the Special Master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, held meetings with victims in October and reviewed victims’ feedback from meetings and surveys conducted by the 7/20 Recovery Committee.

Feinberg is expected to release a final Aurora Victim Relief Fund report in December.

An independent audit report from Ehrhardt Keefe Steiner & Hottman, P.C., retained by the Community First Foundation, will release its findings on the foundation’s website, and will be presented as part of Feinberg’s final report.

By Paula Vargas