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Payments For Aurora Victim Relief Fund Finalized

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A gunman opened fire on people attending "The Dark Knight Rises" debut at the Century 16 theaters at the Aurora Mall on July 20, 2012. (credit: CBS)

A gunman opened fire on people attending “The Dark Knight Rises” debut at the Century 16 theaters at the Aurora Mall on July 20, 2012. (credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4)- The payment decisions are complete for the Aurora Victim Relief Fund.

Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office announced the finalization of payments on Friday afternoon, nearly four months after the July 20 shooting at the Century 16 Theater in Aurora.

The families of the 12 people killed in the theater, as well as those 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 will go to victims who suffered physical injuries. The disbursements are based on the final number of days they stayed in the hospital.

The fund closed on Thursday with a final balance of $5,338,360.32. The Governor’s Office processed claims for 57 individuals; 38 claims were approved by special master of the fund Ken Feinberg and 19 claims were denied because they did not qualify under previously announced protocols.

  • Twelve claimants related to people killed in the Aurora movie theater, as well as five claimants who suffered permanent brain damage or permanent physical paralysis, will each receive $220,000.
  • Six claimants who were hospitalized for 20 days or more will each receive $160,000.
  • Two claimants who were hospitalized for between eight and 19 days will each receive $91,680.
  • Thirteen claimants who were hospitalized for between 1 and 7 days will each receive $35,000.

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,” said Hickenlooper in a statement.

“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.

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.

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