The April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster killed 11 people and destroyed the property and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Gulf residents. In the aftermath of the disaster, British Petroleum created a compensation fund, required by a 1990 law enacted by Congress to do so. After distributing more than $368 million in claims for lost income, lost revenue, property damage and medical claims, BP handed over claims to the newly-formed, independent Gulf Coast Claims Facility. Business owners in the Gulf region were hit hard, losing millions in revenue via lost contracts. Learn how to file a claim for lost business revenue.
How to File a BP Claim
The good news: anyone who filed a claim under the old system, using BP.com/claims, does not need to provide all that documentation proving lost income, lost wages, property damage or medical injury.
The bad news: you still have to re-file a claim using the new Gulf Coast Claims Facility, and businesses experiencing revenue loss should act promptly.
Filing Claims Against BP with Gulf Coast Claims Facility
The Gulf Coast Claims Facility, or GCCF, was created by Kenneth R. Feinberg, an attorney who specializes in large funds such as the BP fund, with experiencing managing Agent Orange and September 11 victims’ funds. Feinberg heads up the GCCF and plans to make sure the fund is transparent – that it is made very clear who receives what, how, when, and why.
To get started, to to the GCCF website and follow the prompts. If you’ve already filed at the old website, then follow the directions for refiling. Business owners need to be certain to provide records of canceled contracts to prove lost future revenue.
Gulf Coast Claims Facility Replaces BP.com/claims
For those who filed at BP.com/claims, the GCCF site simply requires a short process to refile with the new oil damage agency. For those filing new claims, the process is split into four distinct groups of filings: property damage, medical injury, lost wages from a job or lost revenue from a business. Sort through the options to find the business lost revenue option.
Be prepared with financial records, copies of canceled contracts (if applicable), and pictures of property damage – the GCCF website describes some of the best documents to collect for maximizing your experience filing a claim. No one wants to receive less than they’re entitled to, but at the same time the fund must see proof that reimbursing your business for lost revenue or damaged property is valid – and the only way to do so is to see some sort of proof.
The BP claims process is certain to go on for some time as a the Gulf oil spill’s impact is felt for years. If you are entitled to file a claim with BP for your business, no matter how small or large, do so as soon as possible, though, to make sure you receive a timely payment to help get your business’s finances back on track.