How Do You Qualify to Obtain Indian Trust Settlement Checks?

In order to receive an Indian trust settlement payment, commonly known as the Cobell v. Salazar settlement, you must qualify as a class member. There are two class definitions: historical accounting class and trust administration class. An individual can belong to both, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The definition of class members falls under the historical category for an individual Indian alive on Sept. 30, 2009, who had an IIM account open during any period between Oct. 25, 1994, and Sept. 30, 2009, with at least one cash transaction registered and not later reversed, the U.S. Department of the Interior states. The trust class includes Indians alive as of Sept. 30, 2009, who have presently or in the past held IMM accounts pertaining to the so-called electronic ledger era, for which electronic data exists in the DOI system. It also includes Indians who, as of Sept. 30, 2009, had recordable or otherwise demonstrable ownership interest in land held in trust, even if they were not IMM account holders or had previously received proceeds generated from the referred land. The estate of class members deceased after Sept. 30, 2009, but prior to the distribution of the settlement is considered part of its respective class.

The Indian Trust Settlement website states that historical class members can expect to receive $1,000, while trust members may receive a baseline payment of $500, the remainder being calculated using information of income collected from the IMM account.