As a result of the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and the resulting Gulf of Mexico oil spill, British Petroleum (BP) set aside $20 billion dollars to help those affected who may have suffered losses or damages. BP decided to award the damage and loss claims in two main phases – an “emergency claim” phase, which ended November 23rd, and a “final claim” phase, which will end in August 2013. This $20 billion fund is restricted to only pay out $5 billion per year for each until 2013.
How does the BP Claim Process Work
Once you file your BP final claim with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), you will receive a confirmation from the confirming receipt of your claim submission within a few weeks. You will also at that time receive a nine digit Claimant Identification Number that is assigned to your claim and with which you can use to track your claim. You will receive written notice from the GCCF regarding any action taken on your claim, including approved amounts, deficiencies, requests for additional documentation, and denied claims. The GCCF will notify you when your claim forms and all of your supporting documentation are complete and ready to be processed.
Reported Time Frame On A BP Claim
Those that filed claims during the “emergency claim” phase reported that their claims were taking upwards of several weeks to a month or longer for individual claims. Business claims were taking even longer than that. Because of complaints over the summer, the process was taken over by Kenneth Feinberg, who previously handled the settlement claims from the September 11th disaster. Now that he is running the GCCF, he has said that he would like to have a 48 hour turn around for individuals and a seven day turnaround for businesses on all BP final claims to be paid out. However, he has also said that there are no guarantees on this, but that they are working their hardest to meet these deadlines. Though the desired turnaround time has not happened quite yet, Feinberg and the GCCF say they are still working out the kinks in the system. They are currently handling thousands of claim settlements every day, but there is a lot of backlog to get through. Once the backlog is cleared, the GCCF may able to honor its promises.
Time Frame On BP Final Claims
Now that the emergency claims process is over, the process should be quieting down as it will take much longer for final claims to come in to the GCCF. While this all may seem somewhat discouraging, it is merely meant to give you a realistic idea as to how soon you can really expect the GCCF to settle your claims. There is a good chance that once the process becomes more streamlined that you will receive your claim settlement within the timeframe previously promised by Mr. Feinberg. Just remember to keep in mind that there are hundreds of thousands of people in the same situation as you and that it takes time for the limited amount of workers to get to everyone. The best thing you can do for the fastest possible resolution is to make sure your claims paperwork is filled out and documented properly.