Section 1: General Information
1.1 What is the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund?
The Las Vegas Victims’ Fund (“LVVF”) is a Nevada non-profit corporation which was created to oversee the consolidation and distribution of funds contributed in response to the shootings at the site of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 1, 2017 (“1 October”). One hundred percent of the funds contributed to and distributed by the LVVF will go directly to the families of the decedents and the victims of 1 October.
The Las Vegas Victims’ Fund will be used to assist the injured and families of the decedents according to the Final Protocol adopted by the LVVF after receiving input from the injured, families of decedents, and the public on the Draft Protocol.
1.2 Who Governs the LVVF?
The LVVF is overseen by a three-member board of directors (the “Board”), which appointed a committee (the “Committee”) consisting of 17 individuals (including the three Board members) representing the Las Vegas community. The Committee includes representatives from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, major donors to the LVVF, Catholic Charities, victims’ advocates, mental health professionals, lawyers, physicians, the resort industry and charitable organizations, among others. All officers, directors and Committee members will serve without compensation and all services necessary for the operation of the LVVF will be contributed free of charge. The Committee is being assisted by The Feinberg Group and the National Center for the Victims of Crime in adopting the Final Protocol, and prioritizing and processing claims and making distributions. The LVVF’s mission is to quickly, efficiently and fairly distribute the funds that have been, and will be, contributed to assist the victims of 1 October. Once the specific purposes for which the LVVF was created been accomplished and the fund has been audited, the LVVF will be dissolved.
1.3 Who is administering the Las Vegas Victims Fund and processing claims?
Administrative services and claims processing services are being provided through the National Compassion Fund, a program of the National Center for Victims of Crime, the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization, founded in 1985. The National Compassion Fund has previously administered relief funds for victims of mass casualty crimes in Fort Hood, Texas, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Aurora, Colorado, and Orlando, Florida.
Section 2: Eligibility
2.1 Who is an eligible claimant?
There are three categories of Eligible Claimants. (Determination of the amounts to be distributed for each of the categories below will depend upon the following: 1) the balance in the LVVF as of the date of distribution; 2) the receipt of updated data regarding the nature and the number of deaths and injuries arising from 1 October; 3) completion of the review of all submitted claims; and 4) review and recommendation by the Committee and approval by the Board.
A. Individual Death Claims
Eligible claimants include the estates of deceased victims killed as a result of the 1 October attack.
B. Individual Physical Injury Claims for Victims Requiring Overnight Hospitalization
Eligible claimants include those who were physically injured and hospitalized for one or more nights between October 1, 2017 and December 15, 2017 (the date of adoption of the Final Protocol), due to physical injuries resulting from the 1 October attack.
C. Individual Physical Injury Claims of Victims Treated at Hospitals or by Health Care Providers on an Out-Patient Basis (on or before October 11, 2017).
Eligible Claimants will include those who were physically injured as a result of the 1 October attack, and who were treated on an emergency out-patient basis or by health care providers for such physical injuries on or before October 11, 2017, and who did not have an overnight hospital stay as an in-patient.
Section 3: Filing a Claim
3.1 How do I file a Claim?
There will be a secure, online, electronic application process. Applicants will create a username and password to access their online application, and upload required documentation to support their claim. The Final Protocol and links to the electronic Claim Form will be electronically disseminated to all known claimants as identified by hospitals, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the FBI or other local authorities, and potential claimants who registered through the lasvegasvictimsfund.org, the nationalcompassionfund.org, or other approved websites. These links will also be available on the LVVF and National Compassion Fund websites.
3.2 What if I do not have a computer or access to the internet to complete the application?
If you do not have a computer or access to the internet, please call 855-4VICTIM (855-484-2846) as soon as possible. You will be directed to assistance in your local area to complete the electronic application.
3.3 Do I waive my legal rights by filing a claim?
No. By participating in the LVVF, you do not waive any legal rights.
3.4 What is the deadline for filing a claim?
All claims should be completed and electronically submitted (along with all required supporting documentation) no later than January 31, 2018.
3.5 Who can answer my questions about completing the claim forms?
Questions regarding the completion of the claim form should be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org (email is preferred), or by telephone to 855-4VICTIM (855-484-2846).
3.6 Will there be an opportunity for claimants to have a meeting with the Fund Administrator?
Claimants may request a telephonic meeting with a fund administrator. Telephone calls will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time between January 31, 2018 and February 28, 2018. Claimants may submit their request by sending an e-mail to email@example.com or by calling 855-4VICTIM (855-484-2846).
3.7 If my appointment as Personal Representative of the Estate is not yet approved, should I file my claim and then submit the Court approved appointment?
Yes, you must submit a claim form on or before the deadline of January 31, 2018, in order for an estate to be considered for a payment from the LVVF, even if you have not yet been appointed as Personal Representative. Once you have received the Court approved appointment document you must file that with the Fund Administrator.
Section 4: Supporting Documentation
4.1 What type of documentation must be submitted with the Claim Form?
A claim form submitted for a deceased victim must be filed by the individual legally responsible for administering the decedent’s estate. Families of deceased victims are urged to resolve all issues which may exist with regard to agreement as to who is the individual legally responsible for administering the estate of the deceased and therefore eligible to file the claim on behalf of the deceased. If agreement cannot be reached or in the case of conflicting claims (more than one claim filed for the same victim) which have not been resolved, the claimant(s) will be required to obtain legal authorization from a probate court with jurisdiction over the estate of the deceased victim to determine who is the legally responsible person eligible to file the claim. Under those circumstances, the Fund Administrator will recommend that the LVVF deposit the funds to be distributed on account of such estate with the probate court, to be distributed upon resolution in accordance with a valid court order.
A Claim Form filed for the estate of a deceased victim will require:
• Death Certificate
• Marriage License (if applicable)
• Documentation of Status as Legal Representative of the Estate
• Proof of Legal Representation if represented by an attorney.
• A list of the decedent’s heirs and a proposed distribution plan
• Consent Forms signed by each legal heir and beneficiary consenting to the proposed distribution plan
In cases where the victim was not married, the personal representative legally responsible and designated by the court administering the estate must submit the Claim. If you need assistance or have questions with regard to the Personal Representative or probate court issues, please call 1-855-4VICTIM (855-484-2846).
4.1.a What types of supporting documents are acceptable to send in with claim applications for a deceased claimant?
1. Death certificate of the deceased victim
2. Letters of Administration (Document proving Personal Representative status):
3. Proof of relationship to victim: for a spouse, a copy of the marriage license or joint tax return, for a child, a copy of the child’s birth certificate
4. Death certificate of legal heir, to show that they are not alive to consent to the Distribution Plan
5. Proof of legal representation a retention agreement signed by the claimant and the attorney.
If you have already submitted an application but you did not submit documents specified for any of the supporting documentation, you should do so as soon as possible. It is not necessary to submit another application.
4.1.b Who should be listed on the list of heirs and beneficiaries in the claim form?
All members of the decedent’s immediate family including spouse, children, parents, siblings, and the name of domestic partner (if applicable) should be listed on the form regardless of whether they will receive any compensation.
4.1.c Who needs to sign a consent form?
Consent forms signed by each legal heir listed on the proposed distribution plan must be submitted to the Fund Administrator. If you need additional copies of the Consent Form you may make photocopies or you can print the pdf found online. If a legal heir is deceased, please provide a notarized copy of that individual’s death certificate.
4.1.d My child will receive benefits from the fund, but they are under 18. Will you pay the benefits to me to hold until they turn 18?
The laws of the state or province where the minor child lives may require that, a court ordered guardianship or trust must be established for payment of funds for the benefit of minors.
A Claim Form filed for a physical injury claimant will require:
• If the injured victim is a minor child, the Claim Form will require the signature of both parents, if both parents are living.
• If the Claimant is a minor or an incompetent adult, the person filing the claim for the Claimant must provide proof of representative capacity, such as a power of attorney, guardianship, appointment as guardian ad litem, custodial parent or the equivalent as required by the law of the resident state/province of the incompetent adult or minor.
• Proof of Legal Representation (if represented by an attorney).
• HIPAA Release Form
Note for All Claim Types: Claim submitted for minors will require the signature of both parents, if both parents are living, or by the legally designated guardian. A Claim submitted for an incompetent adult will require proof of representative capacity, such as a power of attorney, guardianship appointment, appointment of guardian or attorney ad litem. The claimant’s name should be included on each page of submitted documentation.
4.2 How many Claim Forms can be filed per victim?
Only one claim form should be filed by or on behalf of each victim.
Section 5: Payments
5.1 When will payments be issued?
Payments are tentatively scheduled to be issued on a rolling basis beginning on March 5, 2018.
5.2 How will the amounts for each of the categories of injuries be determined?
Determination of the amounts for each of the categories of injuries will depend upon the following: 1) the balance in the LVVF as of the date of distribution; 2) the receipt of updated data regarding the nature and the number of deaths and injuries arising from 1 October; 3) completion of the review of all submitted claims; and 4) review and recommendation by the Committee and approval by the Board.
5.3 Are payments from the LVVF subject to federal income tax?
The LVVF cannot provide tax advice to those receiving payments and the Fund Administrator recommends you consult your tax advisor for any questions regarding tax liability for these payments. For further guidance, tax advisors are directed to the October 17, 2017 letter from the IRS to Sen. Cortez Masto, which can be found at www.nationalcompassionfund.org .
Section 6: LVVF FAQ
6.1 What percentage of the money raised will go to administration and overhead costs?
None. The LVVF is committed to giving 100% of the donations that are being received directly back to the victims’ families and the survivors. We will not have any paid staff and are working with service providers to ensure there is no other overhead.
6.2 Why is the distribution a gift and not earmarked toward paying off specific bills victims or survivors might have?
The LVVF was not setup to pay for victims bills or to pay off any other debt but instead serve as a gift to the victims of 1 October. As in past victims’ funds, the victims will receive their money with no strings or obligations attached.
6.3 Why is the distribution amount and categorization not based on need?
The goal of the LVVF is to distribute the generosity of donors to the victims of 1 October and to do so quickly and in a transparent manner. To begin determining exact needs of each victim would take years if not longer as the impacts of the tragedy are still not fully understood. It would also not be equitable to make any payments until there was a full understanding of the lifetime needs of each victim therefore delaying the distribution. Additionally, the LVVF has committed to no overhead costs. It would take a team of people to validate and sort through these needs. Instead the LVVF will use the national model for victims’ fund compensation, which uses death, hospitalization and treatment for physical injuries and other verifiable and documented information as an adequate surrogate for need.
6.4 What resources are available and where can victims get financial and legal advice?
The website contains a link to the Clark County Resiliency Center: https://vegasstrongrc.org/ which connects in-state and out-of-state individuals to Social Services, FBI, Red Cross, Attorney General’s Office and advocacy groups. Additional information may be found at https://lasvegasvictimsfund.org/resources/.
The State of Nevada Victims of Crime Program (http://voc.nv.gov/) and the application for services in both English and Spanish are linked through the LVVF site: http://voc.nv.gov/VOC/Application/. Victims from outside of Nevada should be sure to check for eligibility for compensation with the crime victims’ compensation program in their home states. Contact information for state crime victim compensation and assistance is available athttps://www.ovc.gov/map.html.
Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada is providing free legal assistance to victims of 1 October. Legal assistance may include help with the probate process, guardianship issues, claims issues with insurance companies, eviction or foreclosure issues due to loss of income, worker’s compensation, wage claim issues for employees that worked the event, disability-related information, State of Nevada Victims of Crime Program compensation claim issues, or other needed advice. For anyone with a personal GoFundMe account, advice can be given to ensure that the receipt of funds does not jeopardize other funding that may be available. Legal assistance will be coordinated as needed for non-Nevada residents through the Nevada State Bar. A toolkit developed by the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada to be utilized when receiving financial gifts can be found here: www.lacsn.org/vegasstrong. For assistance, call (702) 386-1598, or email LegalAidServices@lacsn.org to be directed to an attorney.
6.5 Does the Final Protocol recognize mental health claims?
It is not possible to include all of the individuals impacted by 1 October and the criteria set by the LVVF in the Final Protocol is by no means intended to devalue or minimize the trauma that has been experienced by a great many. While the LVVF will not be making gifts to all of those impacted by 1 October, information concerning treatment for emotional distress (and other forms of assistance and resources), can be found on the Lasvegasvictimsfund.org website or on the websites of other qualified organizations.
6.8 Can the denial of a Claim or determination of the amount of a Claim be Appealed?
No, decisions of the LVVF as to acceptance of Claims and the amounts to be paid to each claimant are final and not appealable.
6.9 Why can only one claim per victim be filed?
If there are multiple claim forms for a given victim, somebody is going to have to make determinations as to who is the personal representative and who should receive the funds. This is the responsibility of the victim or a family member seeking to act as personal representative of the victim. Competing family members are encouraged to make these decisions on their own and in most cases, will. If not, the distribution of money will be tendered to the probate court, permitting family members to litigate in court.
Can I get your EIN/Tax ID?
The LVVF EIN is 82-3323822. The LVVF is a registered Nevada nonprofit corporation, and a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization.
Will you support matching funds from companies?
We will gladly accept matching funds from companies, but we don’t have any full-time staff at LVVF and therefore don’t have the staff to verify donations from your employees. What most companies are doing is requesting that employees share the donation receipt back with the company and the company keeps track of it on their end. Thank you for your understanding and patience.
I am doing an event or selling services and I would like to donate the proceeds to the LVVF, is that OK and can you support our event?
We greatly appreciate your support. At this point, the LVVF is not endorsing or promoting any specific events or fundraisers. We don’t have any paid staff and have no plans to bring staff on so that we can have no overhead costs. You are welcome to make a donation to the LVVF or to the National Compassion Fund with any proceeds from any event or fundraiser. Donations can be made online at lasvegasvictimsfund.org/donate or be mailed to Las Vegas Victims Fund, 900 Pavilion Center Drive, Suite 150, Las Vegas, Nevada 89144.
I would like to donate my services or volunteer can I do that with LVVF?
Thank you for your offer to donate your product or services. The LVVF is not coordinating volunteers.
Are you selling T-Shirts or other merchandise?
The LVVF is not selling any items. There are other organizations that are selling items that they state will go to the LVVF and the Vegas Strong Fund (“VSF”).