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Gulf Claims Czar Makes Mixed Progress on Transparency Pledges

Gulf spill paymaster Kenneth Feinberg has made mixed progress in carrying out his transparency promises. 

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Kenneth Feinberg testifies on Capitol Hill on Oct. 21, 2010, in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

On Dec. 13, Gulf spill paymaster Kenneth Feinberg promised to increase his operation’s transparency and improve its communication with claimants. Feinberg said he would address claimants’ struggles to get information about their claims by hiring field staff in the Gulf to answer their questions, publicly releasing his methodology for deciding payments and offering pro bono legal assistance to applicants.

A month later, Feinberg has made mixed progress in carrying out these promises. His reforms so far follow a familiar pattern: He has accepted criticism and responded with substantive changes, but he has also overpromised in setting his timeline for improvements and lagged in their implementation.

Feinberg’s most significant progress has come in hiring staff to be in local offices and answer questions from claimants. He first pledged in October, when we spoke to him for our story about claimants’ difficulty getting basic information about their applications, that he would hire staff “in the next couple weeks” to answer questions in field offices and provide them with “direct access to the particular claim where they will be able to get particular information right then and there to respond to inquiries.”

Feinberg has begun to fulfill this promise. He has begun staffing local offices with lawyers who, as he told us last week, will work directly with claimants and can contact decision-makers in Feinberg’s central office to get information about individual claims. Feinberg said there are currently about 15 such lawyers working at claims offices (in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and soon Alabama) which they visit based on the volume of claims coming from the office.

“These local agents of ours can pick up a phone and have special lines into the GCCF,” Feinberg said, referring to formal name of his outfit, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.

This arrangement has been criticized because one of the law firms hired by Feinberg, the Mississippi-based firm Brunini, Grantham, Grower and Hewes, also has a contract to work for BP. Feinberg’s spokeswoman Amy Weiss told the Mobile Press-Register—which initially reported the news—that Feinberg was aware of the contract but had made sure that none of the lawyers at his operation were doing any work for BP. Feinberg also emphasized to us that these lawyers were employees of his operation and not legal representatives of the claimants who sought their advice.

Feinberg has made less progress in releasing his methodology for deciding claims. On Dec. 13, 2010 he said he would publish these guidelines on his operation’s website and in claims offices within about 10 days. This pledge came soon after the Justice Department sent Feinberg a letter that cited “the importance of transparency” and urged him to provide the public with “more information about the principles being applied” to decide claims.

So far, the methodology has not been published. “That methodology is undergoing internal review and discussion, and it will be posted I hope in the next few weeks,” Feinberg told us on Jan. 7.

Feinberg added that he needed to complete the methodology before his operation starts paying final and interim claims, which it has been considering since late November. Statistics from his operation show that aside from “Quick Pay” claims—in which individuals and businesses who were approved for emergency payments can immediately accept $5,000 and $25,000, respectively, if they waive the right to sue—no one has received any payments (PDF) for final or interim claims.

Finally, on his pledge to hire lawyers to offer free legal representation to claimants who stay with the claims process rather than going to court, Feinberg has made progress but not quite lived up to his own pronouncements. On Jan. 7, he told us that he had hired the Mississippi Center for Justice, a nonprofit public-interest law firm, to administer a program offering pro bono representation for any claimant who requested it. (Those who want to go outside the claims process and sue will not get the help.) Feinberg described the program as “up and running” and said that it could represent claimants across the states of the Gulf.

Sharon Garrison, a spokeswoman for the Mississippi Center for Justice, confirmed on Jan. 7 that her firm would be working with Feinberg. But she said that the delivery system for these services was not yet in place. She expected that it would announce its program with Feinberg’s later this week.

“We do have an agreement with him to begin providing those services,” she said. “We’re not quite ready to make the big announcement just yet.”

Richard Ordowich

Jan. 11, 2011, 1:37 p.m.

Ken Feinberg did an exemplary work on the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, commendable work as the Special Master for Executive Compensation and he should have chosen to end his political career that that point.

The BP Oil Spill Fund will overshadow his previous accomplishments. BP was astute in both putting aside these funds and transferring the accountability for their disbursement on such a high profile candidate.

Abuse, fraud and false expectations will continue to plague this fund and Feinberg for years to come. Had he been astute he would not have accepted this role.

You only get to play the hero once and his was the 9/11 work. He risked his reputation on the executive compensation role but luckily got out relatively unscathed. But the spill fund will result in a tarnished image.

“A man’s got to know his limitations” (Harry Callahan – Magnum Force).

@richard
agree fully with your commentary.  If BP truly wanted to do the claims process properly they would have hired an executive experienced in claims processing to run the GCCF.  Feinberg is a lawyer/politician.  He suits Bps strategy to delay paying claims until most people will settle for quick payments or small offers on their final claims.  As he said several times in the last 2 days “Im doing the best I can” which is no where near as good as an experienced executive would do.  Eventually one of the Price Waterhouse people who are in the inner circle of processing these claims will anonomously leak what really is going on with the processing of these claims.  For example why people in the same jobs at the same business getting two exactly different results in their claim decisions.

What was the sense of sending the Final claim package to claimants in December 2010, when Mr. Feinberg has not yet finalized the process?  The process is purposefully ambiguous allowing BP to gather considerable details from claimants without fear of reprisal due to the secrecy put in place by the very same Ken Feinberg that did an acceptible job on the 911 Fund and continued to slide backward until he fell squarely in the corner of the defendant in this case BP.

When I asked his friend and fellow NYU law professor Stephen Gillers why he would risk his own reputation to pen a glowing review of KF’s ethics in regard to this BP Claims process, and for a price,  I was offered seven paragraphs of what independence means in the legal sense and in the real world sense.

By any view ethics, openness and clarity are not offered to the claimants as they are to the clients of the law firm, Feinberg & Rozen the defendant in this action BP.

The true view of the KF administration of the BP fund is his insistence that if a claim holder feels cheated they should seek assistance from the US Coast Guard.
Funny how he insist BP should pay for any action taken by the GCCF, including paying Stephen Gillers for his “Doing A Good Job Brownie” letter, yet he advises claims holders injured by BP and then the GCCF process to seek service from the US Coast Guard on the tax payers dime.

A great concern is that postponing final review for businesses will put most small businesses out of business. 
Why wasn’t emergency advance payments paid out immediately to anyone not kicked out of the system already, immediately after the decision was made to wait until quick pays were finished to start final reviews.
This is now 9 months after the spill and we must wait longer.  This area could become a ghost town.

Let’s face it:  The guy’s working for BP and will do anything he can NOT to pay a claim.  I sent in over 300 documents for my claim (a seafood restaurant that ended up closing) and he still denied me emergency payment.  The guy’s a shyster lawyer and the Alabama AG was right to issue a “scam alert” on him and the GCCF.

Photos taken on January 8, 2011 of Louisiana marsh:
http://photos.nola.com/4500/gallery/oiled_marsh_in_bay_jimmy_182011/index.html?fromentry=5543129&fromblog=8000938

Reaction to the National Oil Spill Commission reports
Published: Tuesday, January 11, 2011, 9:05 PM
By Times-Picayune Staff

Here’s what industry representatives and environmental activists are saying about the report of the National Oil Spill Commission.
   
Erik Milito, upstream director for the American Petroleum Institute:

“The explosion was a tragic accident that never should have happened. But an accurate assessment must acknowledge all the facts, such as the numerous concrete actions that industry has taken both before and since the accident to identify and implement additional safeguards, as well as the many recommendations made by the industry that have already been adopted by the government and industry. We hope that the Administration recognizes the work already done and the need to rapidly restore vibrancy to the nation’s offshore oil and natural gas production program. ”

Jim Noe, head of the Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition:

“The Presidential Oil Spill Commission today presented its final report to the public. In the presentation, Commission co-chairs Bob Graham and Bill Reilly each acknowledged exactly what shallow water drillers have been saying for months: while all offshore projects can be undertaken safely, there are dramatic differences between shallow- and deep-water operations in the Gulf. Unfortunately, BOEMRE’s regulatory focus in the wake of the Macondo spill has consistently obscured and ignored these key distinctions in the requirements and standards the agency has issued in recent months to govern the industry as a whole.”

Bruce Vincent, chairman of the Independent Petroleum Association of America:

“The safety of our workers and of the environment is, has been and will continue to be our industry’s top priority. However, we are concerned that duplicative and overlapping new regulatory agencies—as recommended by the commission—could further delay the thousands of Americans waiting to get back to work in the Gulf region. The risk of further suppressing job creation during this historic economic downturn, and deepening our nation’s dependence on unstable regions of the world to keep our economy moving without adding any additional environmental benefits is wide of the mark.”

Erich Pica, president, Friends of Earth:

“The commission’s sobering conclusion is that we remain in danger of more devastating spills from offshore oil. The problems that led to the Gulf oil disaster have not been solved ... Ultimately, the commission’s findings underscore the fact that oil is an inherently dirty and dangerous fuel.”

Heather Emmert, Gulf states organizer with Environment America:

“The report confirms that the root causes of the largest oil spill in U.S. history are systemic in the oil industry, bolstering the Obama administration’s sage decision to protect our coasts from expanded drilling for the next several years.”

Andrew Sharpless, CEO, Oceana:

“This report shows that the oil companies have made cutting corners an art form. Believing that the international oil companies will stop playing dice with America’s beaches and America’s fisheries is like believing in ‘gambling carefully.’ Everyone knows that if you sit at the roulette wheel long enough, you’ll lose all your money, and if we let the oil companies keep drilling off our oceans, eventually we’ll lose all our beaches and our fisheries.”

Vikki Spruill, president and CEO of Ocean Conservancy:

“The report comes amidst news in recent weeks that BP’s stock price continues to rise despite their documented shortcomings. They’ve had their time to recover; now it’s time for them and others to support recovery in the Gulf. Many of the Commission’s recommendations reflect Ocean Conservancy’s priorities for Gulf restoration, which call for permanently funding long-term monitoring and research; shrinking the Gulf ‘dead zone’; improving fisheries and wildlife management throughout the Gulf; and enhancing critical nursery habitat and ecosystem services through oyster reef and seagrass restoration.”

Mona Lisa
again you come up with one heck of a jewel. The stock manipulation is truly upsetting because any attempt to paint a brighter picture than what is actually happening with the GCCF claims process will taint any Federal jury in favor of BP. 

The bigger picture with the corexit poisoning of the coastal gulf in MS LA and AL Florida where oil landed will be an endangered environment for decades.

However, I’m very concerned about my business and the damage the lack of revenue for so long will take on the overall stability and attempts to export to the 300 million potential consumers in China 18-35 with moderate spending ability.

Feinberg has yet to show his true colors, I can’t wait.

I got my final payment 8 days after filing…..The only hold up I experienced was with my supplemental payments but they also were paid. 
I believe that if the claims are legitimate, they will be paid.  There are too many people trying to get something they do not deserve.  I only asked for what I truly lost….. Too many people are trying to scam and it will hold up legitimate claims. I am satisfied with the overall process.

Once again, the fisherman, casino workers and restaurant owners met with ken feinberg on monday in Bay St Louis, Ms. The man is a pathetic liar, I noticed how he beats around the bush, stutters and raises his voice when he gets called out on questions he doesnt want to answer. If you really want to strike a nerve with feinberg, ask him why he paid an ethics attorney with bp money.

Jennifer Rexford

Jan. 12, 2011, 10:46 p.m.

How is the possible G David when not a single final payment has been filed are you trying to say that we are not legitamite. My body is poisioned. The test result prove it the five hospitalation prove it! My claim got deleted! And I am Dying! My husband Manager of a resort has been waiting since october for his final no anwaer 302 pages of supporting docs dont tell me cause you got lucky that the rest of the peopl are ” not legitamtit I bet you got the quick right? Not not haveing to prove docs for a quike buck sound mighty suspicious. What your words lady they are deadly!

the only final payments that have been made are the Quick Pay payments of 5 grand to individuals and 25 grand to businesses and one 10 million dollar payment to a business in Texas.  No interim and full review final payments have not been paid.  i have a legitimate claim and was paid a EAP and i had to fight tooth and nail for it.  i lost my job, car, house and have fought a respiratory infection since June.  the GCCF has no information and it’s done that way by design, The GCCF is too secret to be transparent, that will never happen.  Also, the GCCF can tell the good claims from the bad claims, the bad are immediately set aside.  They pay who they want when they want and there are definitely favorites like Brett/Robinson that got 37 million to finish that new Phoenix…think they will have to pay tax on that money?

@Mike

Gccf says that my business qp has been wired. Should take up to 24 hours to recieve.

@Paul

wrong forum ... But How did you find out that info ?
Are you sure / did you verify with your bank .. If you were told that through GCCF ... they will tell you anything just to keep you off there back .. promise you that ... ok .. good luck let me know .. my email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) just in case you want to drop me a line

Michael,
You are going to find that propublica will often close commenting on a story and “move” the discussion to the next piece that Sasha has written. This will likely be the new home for discussion.
The gccf told me that they had sent the wire. Yes, I called back twice. I believe it has been sent to their wiring department and will go out sometime tonight. I’ll let you know when it clears. My banker said it should clear the instant they recieve it. Intrestingly enough, she also told me that they had recieved wires from bp/gccf/pwc at all hours. So there might be a “batch” system set up, where every so many get sent at once. Just my speculation though.

i don’t want to be a debbie downer, but the gccf usually doesn’t give advance warning of a wire transfer, it just kind of appears.  at least that’s what’s happened with 4 or 5 of my former workmates. i got mine by mail and there was no warning.  hope you get it soon!

not many claimants are really talking about there quick pay .Alls I know is I know a few that have been waiting for more then 14 days . I was told by an inside source if the claim looks suspious or they should have not gotten any money to begin with . Then they will not get a quick pay .Keep in mind that when they started handing out money at first they were just handing out money to everyone .. Then all of a sudden word was out and everyone was trying to get free money . So that is why quick pay is getting screwed up . Cause those that dont deserve it are getting it , unlike myself I do have a real company that was really dependent on tourist .I live in a town that thrives on tourism and when the perception of oil hit the media I saw my work decline by as much as 80% . So yes I feel I am owed something .I have been running this company for almost 8 years .and I claim it on my taxes as income ,So I do have a paper trail that goes back some years with the IRS .. I do not think that I will have a problem . But I just want to get myself out of the hole I am in .I dont want to involve a lawyer but I will if I have to .. They have already approved an EAP and I have kept all the files that I submitted I have also talk to a lawyer friend and Public accountant that said if they dont pay me we will just go after them for 120,000 with that said I hope I get paid soon ...

The GCCF handling of the claims is a mess. It is a daunting task but he is being paid handsomely for his headaches. As others point out this job should have been managed by a claims processing company but for some unknown reasons an attorney was hired to set up a claims process program. This was done on purpose I believe for one main reason; a claims process operation would actually process claims and trust me many large frms would have beat the door down to earn $850,000.00 net profit to handle the processing of those claims with a 90 day time line for 100% completion. By hiring an attorney the goal was to delay payments until more information about harm’s longevity was determined, yet pay enough small claims to keep the higher ups in the political arena from complaining and looking into the process and then once more information is gathered work to force all claimants into final settlements, more specifically business claims. If one goes to court and wins they are entititled to 5 X the amount plus court cost and legal fees. the $5,000 quick pay to individuals is peanuts predicated on the hourly rate of high profile attorneeys @ $900.00 -$1,000.00 an hour; that is about 5 hours of work and for a business that is about 25 hours of work; it would take that long to read the complaint and file and prepare an answer for each claim. It is noticeable many business claims were denied and employees of the company were paid for their claims and there is no information on the Texas company that received the $10 million final payment a long time ago.

and the dance continues, I wonder how much of his dance card is filled out by BP?

Where are all the people waiting on there quick claims at . I am still waiting . Now we are going on another Holiday weekend .. Man .. I wish I could get some reliable information from somewhere . Any one have some story that can give us all some hope that they are not trying to screw us again .. Thanks

@Michael, I know 5 people that opted for the quick pay option and they received their payment in less than a week. Even the two that sent their forms in regular mail and they received their checks via FedEx within 5 days. If you call the call center they usually can tell you f the check was processed and sent out or if it hasn’t and even on the claim status on the website it will show paid until final payment as soon as it is processed.

@ Kenneth

That is what worrys me .. everyone I know says they got their money in a few days .. I have resubmitted mine twice .. first because of a downloaded form error ..now I submitted my first one on the 20th and the second on the 4th of Jan ... So I am getting a little alarmed ... I know I have a legitimate claim ... But it just feels like I am not getting paid ...

So I sit here and watch as others are getting there checks .. I am making promises to creditors and the electric company that I will be paying them Tues ... Now my whole world is riding on this money .. I am this close to being on the street .... Why am I be treated like my claim does not matter .. why am I not important ...

did you mail your signed claim forms in or did you upload them and senc via email? did you check the claim status under final claim on the website? lastly call the claim center and see if they ahve processed the quick payment

As the Arnold the governator is so fond of saying….

STOP WHINING!!!!

You’ll get your quick pay claims, just not on your time frame, but way before the first year anniversary of the spill.

Such is the thinking of the skeptic…

But, before you dismiss me outright, say the government would never engage in such activities for the benefit of a few corporations…answer me this, when AIG and the rest of the banks and Wall Street began to experience big trouble, primarily because of bulls*** predatory mortgages and lending to people across the country, did the government come to the aid of homeowners or did they come to the aid of the banks?

Who kept their homes?

And who’s keeping their homes in the Gulf…BP or the people who live there?

Have a nice day.

They will do with you what they may and you have no course of action to fight someone with pockets as deep as BP .Plus they have all the judges ,Lawyers and government backing them up . Its like you thinking you could fight Mike Tyson and win .. The only person that will suffer will be the small guy .You can not stand up to big government or big Business and win .It has been proven time and time again .Look at the Valdez oil spill Those claimants finally got paid after 20 years of court battles .. They won ... yeah 32,000 dollars .... divide that by 20 years .. so I am not whining

Just in case you cant add

That is 1600 Dollars a year

133 dollars a month

Does that sound like a fair compensation for all the destruction it caused to Alaska .

I feel the outcome of this will be the same final claims will be offered and it will be less then the quick pay option . And only ones that will get big payments wil;l be the big company’s that are under bps radar ... Just like the 10 million final payment that one company received .. You know that had to be a pretty big company to receive 10 million ...

It would not surprise me in the least if that Texas company with the 10 million pay-out was in the Oil business and had a relationship with BP. That’s the only thing that makes sense.
I saw yesterday where the AG for Florida is starting to look at the way GCCF is paying claims and doing business…..........it’s about time and we’ll see if it actually does any good.

I agree that if fair compensation isn’t given to this area for the ripple effect of lost income, then there will be a bigger mess than if GM had failed in Detroit. 

And when you accept $25,000 you are getting less than 3% of what Mr. Feinberg makes each month.

Once again, there will be a false economy on the Gulf Coast due to the minimal payments being handed out and spent, but this is short term.

We need the seafood industry, tourism, small businesses that employ and all that trickles up to our coastal economy in order to be healthy and propersous again.  While there’s tar balls and mutant foam washing ashore.

We did not ask for this and BP needs to pay before the government has to bail out the region at the taxpayers expense.  The legislators and attorneys general need to get on to this equation and do something serious with the GCCF before the wrong decisions are made by BP’s paid staff.

Why do you think the final settlements will be less than the quick pay option?  The only reason the quick pays are set at the amount they are is because the GCCF is not requiring any additional documentation that proves future losses or proves anything for that matter.  Feinberg even states that the quick pay option is for individuals who feel they have already been sufficiently compensated or for those who can not prove any future damage.  They are counting on people being willing to accept those amounts because they are assuming these claimants are not incurring and will not incur any additional losses.  Anyone applying for a full review final should have documentation proving all previous losses and future damages therefore their final claim amount will most definitely exceed the 5,000 for individuals and 25,000 for businesses.  Not to say that everyone will be paid what they claim, but it would be ridiculous for the GCCF to offer less than the quick pay amount when making an offer on a fully documented, legitimate claim for an individual or business that is and will be losing money for sometime.

Well, if you believe what KF and GCCF say then I don’t see how they would offer less than the Quick Pay as it states that you can file for the QP at anytime up until the GCCF shuts down in 2013.
So if they offer less then you could just file for QP….......or see a lawyer.

i was under the impression you had to have a 6 month paid EAP to be eligible for the Quick Pay option.

also, they are not reviewing the Quick Pay, since you need not docs, just a paid EAP.  So they are cranking them out pretty quick.  i did hear they took a ten day break, not sure if it affected the Quick Pay.

My My My, the voices of the quick pay crowd are loudest just before the checks are cut, and that is as it is supposed to be. Keep the flame under the seat to make Feinberg the puppet master pull the strings that pay you off and kick you to the curb.

I wouldn’t and unfortunately couldn’t take such a loss. But, don’t for a minute feel that the many of us look on you with any malice. You do for you and yours what is fair and just and do not listen to distracting voices.

Now as for all the Final Claim crowd. I finally was sent an answer regarding the Final & interim claim package reflecting the new stance of KF stating he will release new rules regarding Final payout..
Once again @ al t who commented on the subject in the other KF face post is correct. The GCCF says that there is no new rules and I can submit using the instructions sent with the package.
OK, this being the GCCF call center, and the Garden Group, I’ll wait until Feb 02, 2011 to see if indeed KF adds any other rules, placed as hurdles in the lane to Final Claim recovery, before I wrap up the final.

So Quick Pay Claim holders, you’ll be paid.  I think they’ll attempt to stretch the time to actually pay you. It almost seems like it is not incompetence, but a calculated attempt to inflict the greatest stress and take the value away from the payment. $25,000 given today is worth much more than $25k given a month from today.

Ok here is how it works….

His quick pay formula was for those he knew would opt out of the program because they were low blue color workers that would receive more money than they ever had in their bank accounts ever at one time.

Pressure them into a quick pay and he will pay all those because it looks good in his “will not sue” file.

Now given that what about this next round.  The stakes will be higher.  These are people and businesses that can prove a loss and start with the interim payments and then wait for a final offer.

He has to move up the dollar amount offered to get those to settle.  You will see where he will offer $10,000 for individual and $50,000 for business.  Again, no questions asked.  This is buying him time to get claims worked on and processed.  This you will see right around October or November.  I’ve studied his past rulings in the 9/11 case and his VT case.  He has a pattern that he follows.  It is hard to break that pattern if it worked for him in the past.

I’m standing my ground and waiting.  Those of you that took the QP you will get it but when the next round of QP options are offered you’ll wished you would have waited. 

BK Beach.. I think you were denied?  Your business could suffer for several years if any of the beaches has a hurricane or just a large tropical storm.  I know it’s hard but you can make it to see the Checkered Flag at the end. 

Best of luck to everyone…

@RachelM

I’ve said in the past that I was denied for an EAP, but then again I wasn’t expecting an EAP. As for the checkered flag, you got it my friend.
Thats why when the NYU fellow Law Prefessor & KF friend, Stephen Gillers letter came out calling Ken Feinberg a stellar unbiased arbiter I was the first to challenge it with a logical argument, and was sent a 9 paragraph response by Gillers, defending his defense of Ken Feinberg.  I wonder if he will be paid for that, probably will cost BP about $2,400 and change.

So yeah, I’m in it for the long haul, it was an event, product launch, and Tron connected marketing campaign that was lost forever. Yet our sport entertainment company has been able to maintain our credibility in China with the quality of our product design, and sport entertainment drawing power.

I’m glad to read Pam Bondi is going to keep her eyes on the GCCF process. She is one of the most honorable, intelligent and integrity balanced people to ever act as Florida’s Attorney General. We are extremely lucky to have her service in this historical event.

@BK Beach

I’m wondering why no media outlet including ProPublica has learned of Feinbergs new contract agreement with BP.  His initial agreement ended December 31st and he gave that agreement based on only having around 100,000 claims he would have to oversee for the spill and settle on. 
  According to a ‘mouse’ he’s getting over a million a month now and re negate this again at the end of Sept.  Funny how it falls right before BP’s 4th quarter starts and right after the annual stock holders meeting. 

Pam Bondi is a female Bulldog…....she will not stop until justice has been served.

Well the null letter is not a letter of denile ..I had recieved the letter and had the new paper work that was sent to me by mail from gccf and filled it out and had it in by the 4th of Jan. and recieved my payment today.If you are worried then dont give up yet…I think as long as you sent the paper work in that they sent you after the null letter(on the gccf site) then you will be fine…Good luck to everyone that is still waiting and dont give up.

@Todd

Great to hear.  I know you will get a good nights sleep tonight!!

I filed for an interim payment.  After consulting several non-BP sources, it was the option that made the most sense.  If you file an interim, after they review it, the GCCF will mail you an interim and a final offer at the same time.  I think the minimum anyone will get is 5 grand. The Quick Pay was for people who could not show current or future losses.  I lost my job because my industry pretty much went under, I live in a motel because I lost my residence.  I feel lucky I have a small unemployment check, but that will only last a few more weeks.  I spoke to Project Rebound and they can help some of us recover.  The GCCF is not in any hurry to give out any money, that’s why we all need to attend the Orange Beach town meeting Mr. Feinberg is having on Tuesday.  Has anyone had trouble getting an EBT appointment, I’ve been waiting over a month?

Very interesting conversation I had with one of the GCCF phone support people.  I called to get more clarification on the interim pay and how I can file for individual for my personal loses and keep my business claim in place if I file for myself and file for my business.
I had in a business claim but no personal claim till I knew exactly what my personal loss was from 2009 to 2010 tax return.  She said the cut off for filing a interim claim will be August 26th.  So when KF states he will be making available quarterly interim payments available through 2010 this is also not correct.  She also stated they were to handle the interim claims like the EAP claims.  This interim pay was for people who can show and prove a loss with their tax documents.  This explains why KF is waiting till Feb to start the interim payments.  Everyone should have received their W-2’s by the end of January.
Now do the time line:
Feb, March, April -  Interim
May, June, July -  Interim
August & September to wrap up any loose claims
October to figure out how many claims he can get settled before November and December. 
(Are you seeing a pattern here?)
He will offer another Quick Settlement again for the Interim pay claims. 
She did say that if you are approved for an Interim payment you will also be given a final settlement offer with that payment.  *******She lowered her voice and said make sure you sign the interim payment form and not the final payment form the forms look just alike.****
The way she was explaining to me you will get the figure of the interim payment mailed to you and if you accept the interim payment you sign and mail back.  But also you will be given a final settlement offer at the same time to sign if want and sign and send back.  So this spreads out the interim payments a week or two longer by using the mail system. 

When I call the call center I’m joking and laughing and act like they are my best friend I’m talking to.  You get a whole lot more info using sugar…

UPDATE *****UPDATE******

I received my check today .. from all the talk I should have waited I just could not afford too .. But good luck to all . I feel I was compensated for my losses ..I only will tell you one thing .. if you have a business claim they will not cash your check unless you have a business license and a schedule c that states you do claim it on taxes ... now if you deposit in a personnel account it will clear .. but if you wanna cash it ... its a damn complicated task .. I had to drive back home and get all that stuff .. thanks to all .. and good luck with all of your claims ... stick it to the man ...

i spoke with a worley employee and the interim is the way to go.  but only once because i guess the final figure they give you along with the interim figure will be too good to pass up.  for individuals anyway.  my old company is not rehiring much local help, they are bringing back the J1s for this spring and summer.  of course they want people to settle but i think it’s best to settle now and avoid having to go to court later.  get your check and move on.  it will only get more complicated.  also, the worley guy said the gccf call center knows nothing.

Reading the guidelines the big glaring difference between a final final and an interim is that if you lack paperwork they will NOT tell you about it, and you’ll have to wait til the next quarter to file again, so they will string you along forever saying you lack documentation.

the difference between the 9/11 and VT incidents and the gulf oil spill is the sheer number of claims.  the handling of the gulf oil spill will be way more tedious than the other 2.  the other events were confined, the oil spill encompasses 5 states, many industries and potentially hundreds of thousands of people and hundreds of miles of shoreline and damage that could continue for a decade.  it’s gonna be a nightmare.  we don’t know how many victims there will be when it’s all said and done.

Molly - if you’re still there, I e-mailed to have my claim removed almost two weeks ago and I can still login and see my claim info. You said yours was removed after 5 days, were you still able to login and view your info or was it really all deleted? I re-emailed and asked what happened and someone from gardencity emailed me back saying they are looking into my inquiry, pretty much the same answer whoever was emailing before from gccf said.

Tom Jack

I did recieve an email stating that my information was updated.  Also, when I login, it does not appear. I would recommend for you to wait 24 hours for the response.  If you do not get a response, then I would email them again.  I had to keep sending emails until I received the correct response. Even when I call the 800 number they can not longer see it. Try calling them to see if they can see it.

so when are they suppose to start processing the final claims?

if you want to make sure you have all your documents,so your claim won’t be rejected, go into one of the GCCF offices to file your claim.  they will tell you what you need to have. it’s pretty clear on the website the docs they want so it should not be a problem unless you can’t furnish the proper documentation.

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Gulf Oil Spill

The BP oil disaster in the Gulf has had untold health, economic and environmental effects.

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