The Gulf Coast Claims Facility is completely functional. Led by Kenneth Feingberg, the attorney who managed all the compensation funds for victims of 9/11, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility was established in June due to an agreement between BP and the Obama administration. It will handle all the claims from now on pertaining to both personal and business matters that were affected from the Deepwater Horizon explosion that occurred on April 20.
BP and Its Claims Payments
BP has reported paying $399 million already in claims, written 127,000 checks, and has set aside $20 billion to continue paying claims. There are 27,000 claimants who have filed paperwork but as of yet have not been paid by the oil company. These 27,000 claims will be transferred to the care of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility and will be paid. However, new paperwork will need to be filed with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility before payment can be issued.
BP will continue to handle any claims made by government entities, however.
The Number One Priorty in the Gulf
“I want to make sure the people in the Gulf understand we will not let you go out of business or lose your home. The number one priority of the GCCF is to assist the people in the Gulf,” Feinberg said in a statement about the matter.
Feinberg is in charge of a $20 billion escrow account created specifically to pay for claims and keep people in their homes and keep their businesses from going out of business.
Individuals will receive an emergency six-month payment check within 48 hours after the GCCF receives their claim form, while it will take no more than one week for businesses to receive payment.
BP has already funded $3 billion, which is ahead of its payment schedule, in an effort to keep every individual and business in the Gulf safe and sound.
Information about Filing with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility
It is an independent facility of both BP and the government.
Claimants can file in several ways, making everything more convenient for them. Ways to file include online, fax, by mail or in person.
There are 35 claims offices currently open. All of them will remain open.
The offices will have new staffs.
Without giving up their right to sue, claimants can receive between one and six months’ compensation.
A lump-sum that is both filed for and received later in the year will remove that right.
Location might play a part. Those less likely to receive compensation are those farther from the Gulf, unless their business deals with something that comes directly from the Gulf, such as sea food.
It is a completely voluntary program.
CNN- BP says it has paid $399 million as it hands over claims process