GCCF Claims Process Wrapping Up

On November 7, 2011, protestors took to the streets of Washington D.C. to protest the BP Oil Company’s response to the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill. Organizers marched and rallied to bring attention to the lack of transparency and slow repayment of claims filed to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility by victims of the spill. The protesters also demanded the formation of a Gulf Coast citizen-led oversight committee to hold BP oil accountable for residual damage and claims issues.

 

gccf claims

Urgency To Get BP Claims Paid By The GCCF

Art Rocker, the chair of Operation People for Peace, Inc., was one of the rally’s organizers. “On Sunday, we joined a picket around the White house on the [oil spill issue] until President Barack Obama begins to answer the needs of this coalition and encourage the urgency of the claims to be paid in the Gulf Coast Region headed by BP Claims Czar Ken Feinberg…” Rocker said, “We are marching in front of Ken Feinberg’s office, on Monday [11/7/2011] to determine when he is going to provide payment to the underserved and underrepresented in the Gulf Coast Region.”

The protestors have more than a few reasons to be angry. The Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) has more than $20 billion set aside in their claims fund for victims of the spill, but has only paid out about $6 billion to date. The majority of those payouts occurred in the first few months of the spill during the emergency payment phase.

GCCF Payments Has Slowed To A Crawl

As of August 2011, the GCCF reported that it has approved and paid 38% of the 947,892 BP claims that victims have filed. Since then, payments from the GCCF have slowed to a crawl, so the percentage is steadily creeping lower. Federal watchdogs have enacted stricter requirements for people filing claims as a way to wind down the claims process. This has caused the rate of claim denials to skyrocket upward.

News reports are suggesting that GCCF Pay Czar Kenneth Feinberg is gearing up to put the brakes on payments altogether. In a recent Fox News article, Feinberg mentioned that the claims process was wrapping up. GCCF claims offices throughout the Gulf Coast region have been closing and the organization has been consolidating its workforce anticipating the end of claims processing. Feinberg said that the GCCF has processed more than 80% of claims, noting, “I’ve used just over $4 billion dollars…I don’t envision a flood of new claims.”

The Gulf Coast Claims Facility Ready To End The BP Claims Process.

The Gulf Coast Claims Facility expects to end the claims process in 2013. The basis for this estimation is the agency’s assertion that the Gulf Coast’s economy is already bouncing back. The GCCF also attests that the negative environmental effects of the BP oil spill are quickly diminishing as well. Many environmentalists, biologists, Gulf Coast business owners, and fisheries profoundly disagree.

A year after the oil spill, the final payment for an average claim was $16,000. Currently, the average final payment is $20,000. The claims process is ending soon, so victims must take care of denied or unprocessed claims quickly, before the GCCF dissipates altogether.

Update: GCCF Claims Stats

GCCF Claims: How Many People Have Been Paid?

We’ve done stat updates in the past to see how many GCCF Claims were paid out, and what the amount of those GCCF Claims were. It’s been over a year since the oil spill now, so we want to take another look at how far they’ve come to re-compensating the people whose livelihoods BP destroyed. This info comes from the GCCF’s own website.

Let’s start with how many people have been paid GCCF Claims period. The GCCF is currently processing 302,757 claims. They have paid out 144,744, which is less than half of all claims. That seems pretty pathetic after an entire year of people suffering has passed, so let’s look at some more details about what’s going on with GCCF Claims. The GCCF has told 7,944 people that they had no losses (this may or may not be true). 547 people withdrew their claims, 28,213 were told they need to send in more information (a famous GCCF Claims delaying tactic), and the GCCF has outright denied 82,093 claims (even though they had losses). 21,968 claims are still waiting to be reviewed. So all-in-all 140,765 people still have not been paid or made an offer for their GCCF Claims. That is A LOT of hurting people.

How Much Do the People Who Did Get GCCF Claims Money Get Paid?

If you thought the number of people not getting paid was bad, this is really going to piss you off. Of the 144,744 people who did get their GCCF Claims money, 116,035 got the low-ball quick pays. That means over 80% of the people who got money got a crappy offer that probably was not anywhere near how much they actually lost. Quick pays are $5,000 for individual claims and $25,000 for business claims, but if you have been out of work or business has been slow for a whole year, you better believe you’re in the hole a lot more than that. The GCCF is trying to make people desperate by asking for more info and denying claims so that they will take their super low quick pays.

So What Can You Do About Your GCCF Claims?

Unless you’re one of the lucky few people who get an actual final offer for their GCCF Claim instead of a quick pay, there is not a whole lot the GCCF is going to do for you. Your other option is to get some representations and force the GCCF and BP to pay you what you deserve. Only 42,477 people have decided to take the fight to BP in court so far, which means the GCCF is winning. They are tricking gulf coast residents into taking their crappy quick pays every day, because people are desperate and the GCCF has lied to them to make them think that whatever they say is what you will get for your GCCF Claim. It’s just not true.

If you would like to get some help with your GCCF Claims, or even just talk about your claim with an expert, feel free to fill out our free case review box and we’ll connect you with someone who can help you.