Journalism in the Public Interest

Obama Administration Criticizes Slow Payments by Gulf Spill Claims Czar

The pace of BP claims payments is called unacceptably slow, and the official in charge promises new procedures to speed up the program. 


Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, speaks at a town hall meeting back in July. Since taking over the Gulf oil spill claims process, Feinberg has come under fire by the associate U.S. attorney general for its slow payments. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

In an unusual rebuke to the White House's hand-picked candidate for managing damage claims from the Gulf oil spill, the associate U.S. attorney general wrote a strongly worded letter to claims czar Kenneth Feinberg describing the pace of his payments as "unacceptable" and demanding that he improve his operation.

"Many of these individuals and businesses simply do not have the resources to get by while they await processing by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility," Associate AG Thomas J. Perrelli wrote on Sept. 17. "As the present pace is unacceptable, the GCCF needs to devote whatever additional resources -- or make whatever administrative changes -- are necessary in order to speed up this process."

Since Perrelli's letter, Feinberg has announced changes in the way he will process business claims. On Sept. 25, he said that he would cluster business claims by industry and apply the same formula to each industry group, leading to bigger checks for tourism companies that depend on summer income.

"I have heard from the people of the Gulf, elected officials, and others that payments remain too slow and not generous enough," Feinberg said in a statement. "I am implementing new procedures that will make this program more efficient, more accelerated and more generous."

Over the weekend, payments from Feinberg's operation eclipsed the amount disbursed by BP, reaching $477 million (PDF) in emergency advance claims just over a month after he assumed control of the process. BP paid out $399 million over about three and a half months.

These statistics, and the most recent changes promised by Feinberg, did little to ease the distress of Anthony Kennon, the mayor of the hard-hit tourist town of Orange Beach, Ala.

"These are all mom-and-pop shops. We are devastated," Kennon told the AP. "They feel despair, they feel helpless, they feel abandoned."

the administrations letter must be working.  they processed 5000 claims for $114 million on saturday alone.  feinberg could have done it all along but he needed a kick from the attorney general to do it right finally

Better late than….never. Most were beginning to wonder if they were paying attention at all. Seriously.

Do not stop writing and calling.  I have been emailing President Obama everyday - do the same to the attorney general.  We cannot rest until they take appropriate action.

There have been payments which are being received via Fed Ex overnight to many.  Watch for your emergency check.

Nell Sullivan

Sep. 27, 2010, 3:53 p.m.

I don’t envy Mr. Feinberg who successfully administered the 9/11 fund. He has another gargantuan task trying to separate fact from fiction. These are the same people who cannot understand why President Obama has not changed the world in a year and a half.

Mr. Feinberg will be fine. He is being paid very well for the job. He has said he would reveal how much $ BP is paying him .... but to date has not. It’s important to look at this issue as it stands now and not politically. I voted for Obama. I get it. But the administration has consistently ignored the issues in order to distance themselves. Your ‘same people” reference really irks me. That actually makes you one of the “same people” just from a different perspective. An uniformed perspective.

Marcie Hascall Clark

Sep. 27, 2010, 4:09 p.m.

Wow, the Administration knows that AIG, CNA, and ACE ESIS are refusing to pay Defense Base Act claimants all over the world but they will not say a word.
Not even the appointee in charge, Hilda Solis.
I guess when they can blame BP instead of themselves they will speak up.

My claim has been “under review” since Aug 25, two days after I filed with GCCF. I am still waiting. I am happy for the people who have received their checks. Unfortunately, I am not one of them.

I previously filed with BP and received a partial payment. I refiled again on August 23rd with the GCCF and am still “Under Review.”

Richard Ordowich

Sep. 27, 2010, 5:13 p.m.

You have to admire BP. They transferred the claims monkey onto the government’s back. Now the claims process and the inevitable frauds that will discovered over the next few years will be dropped at the government’s doorstep.

I will be waiting to see how much of the money spent on claims is deemed legitimate after the dust settles. I am convinced that fraud will be rampant and in hindsight we will criticize those who “paid claims too fast”. Committees and investigations will look at the process and resolve that this will never happen again.

I filed at 1:06 am August 23rd and on the 25th was told all my documents have been received from BP and there were no deficiencies, “Claim Under Review”.  However, here I sit some 33 days into my claim “Under Review” and I’ve heard NOTHING!  Only to call the Call Center and have them inform me they can’t help but they can tell me my “Claim Under Review”.

Why did Feinberg waste everyones time and money setting up a Call Center that has ZERO power or ability to help?

Check your status online today and continue until tomorrow.  We noticed that after ten ‘reviews’, the checks sent out on Saturday, some were received today and others to be sent Tues/Wed.  NOTE:  these are only the emergency checks first.  Letters were also sent that confirmed if you wanted a first check, final check or one/six months payment.  Look for all these in the next few days.  They are also asking you to send them an email/fax, NO phone calls, to confirm what you are seeking:  the one/six emergency or final payment.  Let us know tomorrow if there are more received.

Yeah we don’t need green energy, do we?

Just think had reagan the corporatist puppet not been voted in we wouldn’t be having these problems today.

In fact we wouldn’t be in the debt we find ourselves in.

Yeah we don’t need green energy, do we?

Just think had reagan the corporatist puppet not been voted in we wouldn’t be having these problems today.

i filed my claim with bp on july 12th and they put it on hold until gccf took over and here i sit after i put in my claim with them on aug 25th i got a letter saying they needed more info after i faxed them 32 pages of tax returns and all my losses and every thing they asked for so i faxed more and 5 days later im still under review for 4 more days faster my butt they suck and i am sick of waiting to see if they even approve it im losing every thing i own it is bs they lie and i dont think they have a clue what it is like to wonder if you will have a home tomorrow

i received a partial payment after 2 1/2 weeks of hounding them…that’s what worked.  Call the center and email every day if you can.  Go to the claims office, see different adjusters, some do know more than others.  i am still working on the other half of my claim…if you didn’t receive enough, send a supplemental claim, send duplicate documentation, get yourselves moved up in the line, asked to be reviewed again.  tell them you are losing stuff, you can get put in a sensitivity file, just don’t let it rest, keep trying!

A few weeks of hounding did not get your claim paid. The administration and DOJ on Feinberg’s ass got your claim paid. Each and every one of us who have unpaid claims have been writing, calling and sending emails to GCCF, Congressmen, Governors, etc. AND most of us have been doing it for a lot longer than 2 and a half weeks.

yes i have called every day since july these people dont care they are not doing without so they could care less but what goes around comes around it will happen to them one day and then god help em

President Barack Obama has reportedly submitted a “claim for restitution” to the Redistribution and Compensation Czar he appointed to oversee the dispensing of BP’s $20 billion escrow fund for victims of the oil spill in the Gulf.

Obama’s claim totals $20 billion, and includes $10 million to compensate him for permanent personal psychological damage, $5 million for damage to his legacy and reputation, and $5 million more for restitution to the government for the loss of respect for the presidency caused by his actions since the spill. The form also includes a request for one additional dollar to offset the value of his services that had to be devoted to presiding over the disaster, rather than to other pressing presidential tasks.

In the “explanation” box on the claim form, Obama wrote, “My reputation has been virtually destroyed by this outrage and my abysmal response to it. My personal feelings and self-image have been wounded beyond measure. My teleprompter is stuck. My standing among the people I admire most — experts, academicians, and the Board of Directors of ACORN — has plummeted. What is a president’s reputation worth? Priceless. OK, $20 billion isn’t worth much any more, but it’s a good start.”

In the mandated section of the form addressing the application’s contribution to government waste, Obama’s application points to an unnoticed benefit of paying his claim off in full and immediately: “If I get all the money, no precious White House time and effort will need be spent on reviewing thousands of claims from little people who are simply looking for a handout. There will be no more money in the escrow fund, so my administration will be able to devote all of its efforts to fixing all the problems caused by George W. Bush. If people still think they have been damaged by the oil spill, they can have recourse to the courts and, of course, BP’s 24-hour toll-free help line. I think that Catholic Charities also has a soup kitchen in New Orleans,” he wrote.

-from the website

Now, guessing that those of you who did vote for hope and change are getting neither of the two.

Yes, devoting more time and resources to this calamity is just what is needed, seeing as how they have been doing such a good job this far.

Dog and Pony Act

While visiting my mother in law this weekend in Marianna Florida I sat down to look at their Sunday paper (mainly to look at the comics) and low and behold a nice big full page ad from BP.  What caught my attention was the headline “Making This Right”  After reading the few paragraphs on the full page and looking at what was being said the last paragraph spelled out FALSE ADVERTISMENT.
“We support over 10,000 jobs in the region and people here are our neighbors. We know we haven’t always been perfect, but we will be here until the oil is gone and people and businesses are back to normal.  We will do everything we can to make this right”.

Now seeing this and Marianna is at least 60 miles from the coast.  Panama City is the closest point to touch water from Marianna, FL.  My mother in law said they have been running these whole page ads since May.  She stated the commercials they are running on TV looks like they are doing everything they can and as quickly as they can to get everything back to normal is a swift timely manner.  Well, I went channel surfing and nothing on the networks.  After three hours of trying to find commercials I found one… It was on Channel 4 out of Dothan AL which is 85 miles from the water.  Oh yea, they walk on the beach and telling everyone how they are making it right and business and individuals are being well taken care of and compensated for any loss they have occurred.  The final statement was “we will not leave the region until everyone has been made whole again”. 

BP has the whole world fooled on what is really going on down here.  They are dumping millions and millions of advertising dollars into communities that are outside of the spill area to keep their Dog and Pony act of doing the right thing so people are being sheltered by what is rally going on.  My mother in law keeps a box of newspaper for recycling and had at least two if not three months of newspapers there.  I went through every newspaper and NOT ONE article on Feinberg.  Not one article on GCCF.  Nothing but full page ads from BP telling everyone they are “Making This Right”. 

Day 35 for me*** Claim Still Under Review.

R. bennen I send my claim in august 26 it went into review sept 7 and stayed into review until now sept 28 no change. I call the call center everyday two to three times a day to here the same DAME thing STILL UNDER REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!  :(

Rachel how do I get a copy of that artical.

People need to take pictures and post this on the internet with yahoo google do anyone knows how we advertise this on the internet.


  I have the full page article. I kept a copy to bring home with me for my records.. WHEN I SUE…

Is there a way I can pull it up on the internet so I can read

Do anyone know the latest with the courts in NEW ORLEANS with BP regarding the suits.


  I will have my husband scan at his office tomorrow and then I will post a link to the full page ad somewhere on the web for everyone to have.  If you want a hard copy I will send to you via mail if you want for your records.  My mum in law has plenty of these full page ads in her recycle box.

I’ve heard that Lieberg was paying business less then $10,00.00 dollars. How in the hell he expect you to run a business with less then $10,000.00 dollars. Is this man crazy. Is he trying tio save more momey for himself. He should let go some of these Dame people he has working for him. He should try running his business with less then $10,000.00 dollars.

I have been waiting on the GCCF since Aug 23rd.  I was paid by BP, and haven’t gotten any word from the GCCF other than my claim is under review.  It is almost a month and a week since I submitted everything over to GCCF with the same adjuster that worked my claim for BP.  I don’t understand why a personal loss of income claim should take such a long time.  It’s not like I’m a million dollar business.  I remain on unemployment working whenever it is possible.

I have had a claim in since august 24th-  have been told my documentation is complete- have recently sent Disconnect Notices for both electric and water but we still haven’t received a penny from GCCF. They said they would escalate it, but that was Sunday and still no word- still “under review”.

For Mr. Feinberg to state, “The only backlog we have now in the system, is claims that have come in over the last few days”..., shows he is either ignorant or borderline criminal. I filed my original claim with BP in May and I filed my GCCF claim at 2:30 A.M on the 23rd of August. I have diligently tracked our claim by calling and/or writing nearly everyday and have always been told that my file was complete but “UNDER REVIEW”. My frustration with the inaction of the GCCF is compounded by hearing about who is getting paid and many of whom do not even live in a Gulf Coast state. The saddest part is that my employees cannot even get relief because they have been grouped under our Company claim and are stuck.

This man (Lieberg) is a pathological liar. My claim along with thousands of others has been “under review” since 2 days after it was filed on Aug. 23. I spoke with someone from GCCF last night who said she could not give me any info but she would put in a request that it be expediated.  There is still no way to get any answers about why it is taking so long. I have written to every representative including Obama. I’m still waiting to be paid on a real simple well documented loss of income claim.

i am on hold with the gccf now for 25 minutes im going to ask if the old claims are all paid why havent i ever got one dime yet and i filed the claim on july 12 i will give you an update as soon as one of the liars ansers my call

ok they said it is under review no kidding haha i was told they would make a note that i called and i said i understand that it is not the phone person fault but you can note this tell your boss that he should keep his mouth shut cause he only tells lies my claim is old and if it has been paid where the hell is my money

CLAIM UNDER REVIEW. WE WILL NOT LEAVE THIS AREA UNTILL WE MAKE THINGS RIGHT. HA HA LOL. DAY 36 still under review. Yes mam, all paperwork is there and in order. BS nathan

i took my own action yesterday, i filed for a federal injunction order removing feinberg from the claims process, in a federal court of tampa florida, my claim has been under review since i filed it, and still no word on anything day 36 now,soon he will have to show why he was lieing to the people, and i hope his ass is in jail, were he belongs , fucken thief


The president signed a paper filing charges against BP for criminal Damages But juess what the REPUBLICANS do not want to file criminal charges against BP. That was just on the news. When we sue BP juess who will not be on our side but on BP side, I wonder if they are pushing LIEBERG to do what he is doing with the claims.

well finally after 2 months my claim says paid all day it said under review and when i called they said it was approved today thank god finally so keep calling and bug the hell out of them

Claim filed aug 23rd at 12:01 am.  Still in review,  what a joke.  And people actually want this government to run the health care system…  They have failed with everything they have ever done.  Cant even run the postal service.  Linda needs to quick drinking so much liberal koolaide,  Obama received more money from bp than all the other candidates combined,  and ohhh by the way he appointed the joker fienburg to head this monstrousity.  The lies just keep flowing from this administration.

I can’t find any info on criminal charges being filed against BP. AG said back in June that it was being considered but I can’t find any conformation that it was actually done.

terri wake up u cant believe anything the government says to ya, especially this administration.  They have spread more lies than any administration since nixon.  They lie, cheat and steal from us every day.  As Senator Kerry said yesterday us every day americans are to stupid to understand what they are doing for us…...what a joke for us….......................lmao

As for the goverment I don,t believe nothing they say neither party. I heard about the criminal charges the REPUBLICANS voted against it

Duane I do not believe no one that is in goverment from the president on down one thing I do know they all lies because all of them is backing up BP. I am only repeating what I heard on the news. MSNBS news, some of them lies to.

linda if you would have read the latest bp and the government are on oppisite sides now, bp says its not their fault and cant say why yet , they are hiring big guns to defend them, and our government is doing the same, something they found out on that blow out preventer i willing to bet, like they know the real cause and wont tell anyone, i think it was a neclear submarine that hit the drill shaft and sank the oil rig, our navy was doing exersizes in the gulf at that time, and now are over in korea, because you cant blow out that drill shaft 350 at the bottom and sink that oil rig with out a atom bomb or bigger, or you would have a tidel wave so big you guys up there would have drowned by the water, so something hit that oil rig, at 350 feet from the bottom, gas does not burn under water without oxygen period, and there is not enough oxygen in that drill shaft to blow aprt the pipe and sink the oil rig at the same time,  never could happen ever, so yes its being covered up no dout

Yeaaaa.  Got my emergency check last night.  Amazingly enough they gave me more than I requested…....:>)

Ok, still under review and counting over 30 days, filed with bp since june.  I keep calling each day and emailing.  hopefully soon…...

duane glad to hear you got paid!!!

day 39 and counting

Terri Kleinsmith

Oct. 2, 2010, 8:47 a.m.

I have asked every elected official to help me. A rep from Sen. Don Gaetz’s office called yesterday and told me the most she could get out of GCCF was that my claim was in the final stages of review. They would not tell her if the final stages took hours, days or weeks. It’s been under review since Aug 25. If someone one reviewed one line a day on my claim, it would have been settled weeks ago. It’s a simple loss of income claim with documentation. Feinberg must be thrilled when he gets questioned by elected officials and he doesn’t have to answer to them either. What a pompus ass.

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