Lets start with the obvious Mr. Feinberg is getting paid $850,000 per month so he does not need to worry, actually he does, because he is now asking BP for a raise. I am sure the BP oil spill, will not cause him not to get a raise, like it has so many others.
Other than Mr. Feinberg, very few people are getting paid by GCCF, to date the GCCF has used about 15% of its fund paying people, that is 7 months of work. To his defense Mr. Feinberg said that he did not expect 500,000 people to file claim. Well in response I would say that when you have the largest oil spill in US history and destroy the whole economy in 120 days, you better expect a minimum of 500,000 people who would want compensation.
What can you do to get paid from the GCCF
First off its important that we say, “what can you do to get paid the right amount from GCCF” as you can always get paid the $5,000 Quick Pay to go away, if you have received the emergency advanced payment. The biggest problem GCCF is having according to them is documentation from the oil spill victims. They are lacking basic tax returns or W2 for lost income. I don’t believe they are lacking this stuff from businesses, its mostly individual claims that are missing documentation. Or so the GCCF says. I hear from many people over the 800 number that have given them all the documentation they have asked for, and still only gets offered a Quick Pay of $5,000.
I would say if you are having trouble with documentation or what to give the GCCF, visit a local GCCF office and ask them point blank what documentation you should submit with your claim. If you need to consult with a CPA or an attorney for some of this documentation do so and get you final settlement offer from GCCF. After you get the settlement offer ask an attorney for a free claims review and see if the number is right. Lots of times the GCCF is low balling people with a Quick Pay offer of $5,000 to see if they will take it. If you final settlement offer is lower than you emergency advance payment as a general rule I would not take it.
Expansion of who can file a GCCF claim for final payment.
GCCF has each week expanded on who can file for a GCCF final claim, first it was the Oil Spill Workers, then the moratorium claims, the real estate industry claims, and now the casino workers. The scope of people that can file are great, I just wish they would spend more time in getting people paid, many have been waiting on payment for 2-3 months or longer.
Another update from Mr. Feinberg today was that 380 claims that were appealed to the US Coast Guard Claims Fund was ruled in favor of the GCCF, so the decision that GCCF has made on the amount of money to give to an oil spill victim was held up by the US Coast Guard Fund. What that means is that if you are unhappy with the amount they are offering you the only way is to go with an attorney. I know lots of people reading this have a problem with attorney’s and I don’t disagree about that in general, but in this case you know BP has their attorney’s lined up. They even have their attorney Mr. Feinberg handling their claims fund. Sometimes when you go to a gun fight you cannot bring a knife, and without an attorney that is what you are doing.
Oil Spill Attorney`s and their Fee’s
So the oil spill attorney’s and their 25% retainer fee: The way I look at is this, if they can get me more money than what GCCF is offering me, then yes I will use the resources of an attorney. But it has to be a minimum of 30% more than what I was offered by GCCF giving me the 25% extra to pay the attorney and 5% extra as a minimum for me. If they cannot offer me that, then I would not use an attorney, I would just take the offer from GCCF. If you think about it and you look at your documentation the answer to you question to use an attorney or not should be there.
Questions to ask your self
1. How solid is my claim ?
2. Is the GCCF offer fair for past and future losses ?
3. How many years will it take before I am back to where I was before the oil spill ?
4. Do I need the help the attorney’s can bring with documentation gathering and CPA assistance ?
5. Has it been a headache dealing with the GCCF, and do you need to bring in the Big Guns ?
After you ask yourself these questions you will know what is right for you.
Waiting for the GCCF final offer and then seeing an offer for a standard Quick Pay of $5,000 is just really demoralizing to many people as the time they spend going over you paperwork they still do not come to any better conclusion than a quick pay of $5,000. This is why so many people select to go with attorney’s to handle their final claim settlement with GCCF for them.