10 things to know: How donation money will be distributed to 1 O - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

10 things to know: How donation money will be distributed to 1 October victims

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The Las Vegas Victims Fund Committee has released a preliminary plan detailing how more than $10 million will be distributed to victims of 1 October. The Las Vegas Victims Fund Committee has released a preliminary plan detailing how more than $10 million will be distributed to victims of 1 October.

The Las Vegas Victims Fund Committee has released a preliminary plan detailing how more than $10 million will be distributed to victims of 1 October. 

Here are 10 things to know about the draft protocol.

1. 16 people oversee the money

A group of volunteers were chosen to lead the Las Vegas Victims Fund, a non-profit corporation created to oversee the distribution of funds donated in response to 1 October. The committee is not paid and will be dissolved after money has been distributed and an audit has been performed.

The members of the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund Committee are:

  • Barbara Molasky – Outreach Director, Core Academy
  • Barry Lieberman – Chief Development Officer, South Point
  • Bill Noonan – SVP Industry and Government Affairs, Boyd Gaming
  • Dana Lee, VP – Familee Properties
  • Deacon Tom Roberts – President and CEO, Catholic Charities
  • Allison Netski – Chair of Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health, UNLV
  • Ikram U. Khan. M.D.
  • Elynne Greene – Victim Advocate Manager, LVMPD
  • Hunter Campbell – EVP and Chief Legal Officer, UFC
  • Jackson Wong – Accounting Manager, LVMPD
  • Kristin Tyler – Partner at Garman, Turner, Gordon
  • Magann Jordan – Victim/Witness Program Administrator, Clark County DA Office
  • Peter Guzman – President and CEO, Latin Chamber of Commerce
  • Punam Mathur – Executive Director, Elaine Wynn Foundation
  • Scott Nielson – President, Nielson Consulting, LLC
  • Yolanda King – County Manager, Clark County

2. Nothing has been finalized

Scott Nielson, the chairman of the committee, stressed that Thursday's release on the lasvegasvictimsfund.org website is simply a first draft that won't be put into effect until after the board receives feedback from the public. 

"Please come and tell us what you think and tell us your story so that we can make sure that we listen to people and understand those that are impacted and get it right when we adopt the final protocol," he said. "Thus far I think people are still digesting, it so I haven't received a lot of criticism or praise or otherwise... It could definitely change."

The committee said it will hold two town hall meetings at the Clark County Government Commission Chambers on November 28 at 10:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Written comments were welcomed to be submitted at: comments@lasvegasvictimsfund.org or by mail to Las Vegas Victims’ Fund, P.O. Box 551111, Las Vegas, Nevada 89155-1111.

3. 58 families get first priority

The draft protocol prioritizes the 58 families of victims who died in the shooting, as well as any victims who suffered permanent brain damage or paralysis. 

So far, it's unclear how much money any victim would receive or what percentage of the money any victim would receive. Nielson said this determination cannot be made until all claims have been filed.

"The families of the 58 people who died will all be compensated on the same level," he said. "That's one of the keys of the draft protocol."

4. More hospital time, more money

The draft protocol states it will distribute money to victims who were hospitalized. The amount of money received will correlate to the number of days spent in the hospital. 

The amount of money will not correspond to medical bills, types of injuries, or types of procedures performed on victims. 

"There's no way for us to look at each individual injury, so really what we're doing is we're making sort of a rough calculation about how badly people were injured by looking at how long they were hospitalized," Nielson said. "A person who was hospitalized for one day is not as seriously injured as somebody who was hospitalized for 20 days."

5. Victims must provide proof

Victims who survived the shooting must provide proof they were hospitalized. The FBI will also verify whether victims were injured during 1 October.

Throughout the past month and a half, some people have created fake fundraisers to cash in on the tragedy. 

"We are going to very carefully vet all those claims to make sure they are valid," Nielson said.

6. Emotional distress victims will not receive money

The Las Vegas Victims Fund acknowledged that many victims may have invisible injuries or could still be suffering from emotional trauma. Instead of distributing money to these victims, the fund intends to put these victims in touch with counselors to receive the proper treatment.

"The reason for that is because, when you think about the size of this event where you had over 20,000 people there, and then you had first responders coming to the scene, and you had people then go into the community into our hospitals and so forth, it's going to be a lot of people that were emotionally affected by this," Nielson said. "And we're not trying to minimize at all those types of issues because we know those are important, but because of the size of that group, the committee decided in the draft protocol that we would not try to financially compensate or financially make a payment to those people."

7. Family disputes are expected

If a deceased victim is not married or did not leave a will, the Las Vegas Victims Fund may be forced to let the courts decide who receives donation money.

Nielson indicated that he believes some families have already begun arguing with each other regarding expected payments.

"If agreement among the heirs and beneficiaries cannot be reached as to who will serve as the personal representative, or with regard to the proposed distribution, the claimant(s) will be required to obtain legal authorization from the Probate Court having jurisdiction to determine who is the legally-responsible person eligible to file the Claim. Under those circumstances, the Fund Administrators will recommend that the LVVF deposit the affected funds with the Probate Court having jurisdiction, to be held in a separate account and to be distributed only upon resolution in accordance with a valid court order."

8. People on the board have different opinions

Nielson indicated that there were challenges in creating the draft protocol, but stated the 16 board members unanimously agreed on the version that was put forth to the public. 

He said initially some members had differing opinions regarding certain issues. For example, board members debated whether victims of emotional distress should receive funding, but after "much discussion" a decision was made against that idea.

This was one of the many reasons he said he is looking forward to receiving public input on Nov. 28.

"I'm sure it will be emotional because people were severely impacted by this, and I think people want to be heard and want to give their opinion on the draft protocol and how this should go, and so we're looking forward to that, but hopefully it won't be contentious," Nielson said. "None of us have experience in this ... Hopefully we never have to again."

9. Receiving donations may have an effect on victims' taxes

According to the Las Vegas Victims Fund website, the corporation has submitted an application for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status to the Internal Revenue Service. Approval of the application is pending.

The LVVF cannot provide tax advice to those receiving payments from the Fund. The Fund Administrators recommend you consult a tax advisor for any questions regarding tax liability for these payments.

10. Timeline

The Las Vegas Victims Fund intends to adopt a "Final Protocol" by December 11, 2017. Victims would be able to submit a claim from Jan. 2, 2018 until Jan. 31, 2018. Distribution of payment would begin on March 5, 2018. 

The plan also calls for an independent audit to begin on April 30, 2018, if payments have finished being distributed.

A full audit of the LVVF will be conducted by an independent accounting firm as soon as possible after completion of the payment process. The results of this audit will be made available to all claimants, donors and the general public along with a final report from the Fund Administrators.

Copyright 2017 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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