Journalism in the Public Interest

Read Gulf Spill Paymaster’s Just-Released Protocol for Final Claims

Yesterday, we published a letter by the Justice Department expressing its concerns about an early draft of Gulf claims chief Kenneth Feinberg's protocol for evaluating final claims. Unlike the emergency payments that Feinberg's operation has offered so far, final claims cover both past and future damages caused by the spill, and claimants who receive them must sign a waiver giving up their right to sue.

Today, Feinberg released the protocol to the public, and you can read it on our document viewer.

The protocol shows that Feinberg has followed some of the Justice Department's advice. For example, the Justice Department called on Feinberg to decide all emergency payments by Dec. 15 and make interim payments -- which will be offered on a quarterly basis under the new system -- available more frequently for claimants who are in financial need. Feinberg has adopted both of these recommendations in his protocol.

Feinberg said in a press conference this morning that his protocol would offer the most favorable terms for compensation of any option available to claimants. "I am determined to be more generous than the courts would be," Feinberg said.

You can read the protocol for yourself, and we will keep you updated as we examine the rules for deciding final claims.

By Dec. 15th? I can wait that long :)

Yea right he’s the big cheif up there he can care less. he’s in control.let 50 pass and stop 5000 no payment and let’s start over over again in 30 days let 51 pass and stop 7000 sorry thats the way i see it

both links for the protocol aren’t working?

you can get it on the GCCF page too Nicole :) Its under final claims link :)

after 90 plus waiting days im denied on THANKSGIVING wow I shouldnt be surprised but yet I am these people think that they can just do this they are sadly mistaken they have made the wrong decision

In my opinion, he is putting everyone that has a legitimate claim that is worth much more than they asked for, in a pile for denial so we will all be forced to file final claims and relinquish all rights to sue!  Us business owners aren’t going to see anything until we agree to accept a final settlement!  Feinburg is in there to protect BP not help us!!!  I am furious!!!!!

I am still under review, but I wanted to list what im thankful for , Im thankful to have here to come to , im thankful to have y’all to chat with. I am thankful to have healthy kids and to be alive :)

Happy Thanksgiving Y’all :)

@ NIcole , that SUCKS , I am so sorry :( Good luck with your final , or the coast guard, or an attorney. Dont give up!

Don’t give up Nicole!!  File a final, they may have wished they’d been nicer to people and more accommodating!!  People are mad now and will give them no slack!!

I would guess just about everyone that is still under review will be denied.  I hate to say this but look at it this way.  If you filed with BP then GCCF and you are still under review they are going to push everyone to the end of the line.  It is claims they do not want to deal with.  Then you file for your final claim and again they have 90 days to give you a notice.  They will wait 90 days or longer..Remeber in the beginning we were supose to hear something within 3-5 days.. and 7 days for businesses… Feinberg has his own plan and if you do not play in his playground you arn’t invited to play in his sandbox.  People and Businesses can’t wait almost 6 months or longer to get paid.  He is trying to shut down the whole Gulf..

I sell lemonade 10cent a piece at the market at the end of the day i made 35.00 dollars enough to buy soap and wash a load of cloths. now at the end of the day on monday the same day i had 12.00 dollar left.  If I’m live day to day barely getting by how can i afford a bank account.    This need attention because everyone don’t live in hollywood.

Some people not me do live day to day.

and my heart goes out for them.

You know for someone who makes $850,000 a month and who designed this system it is apparent that Feinberg either doesn’t have a clue of what he is doing or is in BP’s pocket. Early on in the claims process when confronted about all the delays in payment his excuse was ” He didn’t understand the complexities of the claim process or the numbers of claimants.” Come on you’ve done this before and wrote the claims process!!

Now he says that ” 143,000 claims that don’t have proper documentation are bogging down the claims process.” How hard is it to figure out that if they don’t have the required documentation screw them and move on to the ones that do, and pay them!!!  My opinion is that if they don’t have proper documentation or can’t provide it then they are probably trying to defraud BP.

Everyone involved in this system knows people who are trying to cheat the system. It’s time for Feinberg to move on and pay proper documented claims.

I didn’t file a 6 month claim when I lost my job as I didn’t think I would be out of work this long. I got paid for my initial month but can’t find out anything about my 5 supplemental months and am about to lose everything. I’m wondering if they are going to pay any supplemental claims or if I can file a Interim claim for the supplemental claims.

Also did anyone else see that in the Protocol Feinberg states that for either a Final claim or a Interim claim that “they will review it within 90 days”  Looks like some more stall tactics! Remember in the beginning Feinberg said 3 days for a decision and then made excuses when he knew what the circumstances were as most claims were already filed with BP and then he set the criteria…........don’t hold your breath!!

Got my letter today. Been in review since 9-21-2010. DENIED. Put in my final claim tonight. Let the game begin….........

i called the GCCF call center this morning and asked what form to use to file an interim or final claim and the person told me i needed a special form and could only file a final claim.  i then went to the GCCF to get a form and one of the adjusters told me to wait awhile to file because he felt that the facility was not ready to receive a bunch of claims and the rules may change again like for the emergency.  he also said there is no special claim form for an interim or final and everyone could file for an interim or final, not just the final.  so i didn’t file, but it shows how one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing yet again!  he also said final claims were not going to even be looked at until after all the emergency claims have been figured out, around Dec 15th.  i dread the process again.  anyway, that was my experience today.

No one should have any doubt that Fienberg is representing BP . Having people that have been damaged and continue to be damaged by the criminal actions of BP sign a waiver only benefits BP.
BP and Goldman are being sued for defrauding an oil company out of over $ 350 million . Goldman would make the delivery bet and BP would hold the delivery . Most of the White House staff was chosen by Goldman Sach.

Goldman Sachs owns NALCO, the company that manufactures COREXIT 9527 & 9500, the poisons that they sprayed on the gulf oil spill. COREXIT was developed by BP and Exxon.  Doesn’t this all sound like a conspiracy?  people are going to start getting really sick down here in a matter of months, this is not going to have a happy ending.  GCCF better start writing checks so folks can start bugging out and save their lives.  come down to the coast and check out the weird sky and clouds.  very creepy.

Praise the Lord my claim was paid.  4 months to the day from filing.  They denied me weeks ago so I quit even checking it.  Went on line to ck my balance in the bank and almost fell out of my chair. 

So don’t give up.  I hope and pray that all of yours will be paid SOON!

Eveyone should know that when BP anounced they hired the criminals at Goldman Sach the government was no longer representing the people damaged by the spill. The more money left in the account . more for the criminals to steal.

I have beachfront rental property in Gulf Shores, AL.  Where the oil actually came in.  Got reimbursed for June by filing one-month claim.  Got reimbursed for July using supplementary form.  GCCF claims adjustor recommended that I request to change my claim to a 6-month emergency claim, and he helped me complete the form in October.  Yesterday, I am told by Garden City Group that it is not permissable to change from 1-month to 6-month, and since the filing deadline has passed, I’ll have to move on and file interim or final claim.  How convenient they wait until after the filing deadline to change the rules!  My property taxes are due this month, and I was counting on that money to pay them!

are the doc links working for others?  neither succeeds for me.

Ellen: I’m glad you got paid for at least one supplementary month, I’m still waiting to get paid for 5.

As usual this is a case of there not being any clear communication between the GCCF people. From the beginning it was not possible to switch a 1 month to a 6 month. It seems you can ask 6 different people there a question and you’ll get 6 different answers.

I had also tried to switch my claim (but I was told that people have tried and to their knowledge none were changed) I got a call from GCCF main office telling me it isn’t done but to make sure all 6 months are claimed before the deadline.

The problem I’m having is it appears they are not paying supplementary claims but you can’t get anyone to give any answers.

I can see GCCF is on a Denial Spree.  If you filed with BP in early May and you then had to file with GCCF in August then start the final claim process in November this pushes out your claim till February or March.  This is almost 1 year for some people or companies to be paid.  You can’t shut down the Gulf for a year and expect it to be back to normal in a few weeks. 

What is going to happen is Feinberg is going to push all claims to the the last few days in order for people to accept anything even if it meaning taking a loss for their claim. 

BP is spending more on one page ads in newspapers telling people outside of the oil spill everything is back to normal or we’re making it right but they’re not.  It’s all a dog and pony show act.

It’s going to be a wait til Easter. u heard it from me first. Back in Oct.

I guest they are only paying seasonal businesses!

@Sam you were denied and they still paid you or did you have multiple claims? or a final? just curious.

We’ve fixed the links to the protocol - sorry for the problems with this, and thanks to those who commented and let us know!

when feinberg released his final protocol on 11/23 he stated that he expected to pay out a total of 2.3 billion dollars and pay 175,000 claims for the emergency payment program.  i got this uneasy feeling because that meant he was only going to pay another 48,000 claims a total of 300 million dollars or an average of $6,250 per claim..  also there were still 93,000 claims under review and 140,000 requiring documentation.  assuming all of the 140,000 requiring documentation will be denied that means that 45,000 under review will be denied and the rest will be paid pennies on the dollar.
my gut feeling was right about our business claim.  we are a waterfront restaurant on the gulf of mexico but not at the oil spill. over 90 % of our business is from tourists. on 11/27 GCCF paid us 15% of our claim.  Even though our sales were down 35% from the oil spill they paid us a loss of $3000 net profit per month.  We loose more $ if it rains on a weekend day.
So be prepared for a bloodbath—If you are not on the oil spill, unless your customers are tourists your claim will be denied.  If your customers are tourists you will be paid pennies on the dollar.  If you are an employee of one the above you will be denied or paid accordingly.

Another day has come and gone.  Still no word on my claim.  Still under re-evaluation.  Trying to keep having faith in the system, but each day, as more people are denied,  I find myself losing heart. 
Why, in the begining, was everyone paid?  Seems like everyone who put in a claim was paid whatever they asked.  Now,  people are getting denied and given no real explanation.  Is this just so the GCCF can make their deadline of December 15?  And have they ever given a reason for taking the claim details pages off of the website? 
Even with all of these frustrations going on,  I am so thankful to be blessed with two wonderful children, a roof over my head, and to be a part of Florida’s gulf coast fishing community!

Don't give up

Nov. 29, 2010, 9:45 p.m.

I was forced to quit my job because of my hours getting cut and had to move in with family because I could not pay rent.  I filed my claim and it said under review.  Today it was updated to paid.  Do not give up!!!

@ Nicole
Yes I was denied then PAID,  I don’t know what happen I am just thankful that it did.  Good Luck to YOU!!!

i own a daycare at home i have been doing it for 3 years half of my childrens parents work on panama city beach and they got layed off which cut my income in half and they said im not eligble for emergency payment. am i still eligble for final payment please help

ran in to my GCCF claims person and his supervisor at work Sunday. He advised me to wait until Dec 16 to file final claim. After90 days my claim was denied.  I work in a casino.  Supervisor made comment ( They will pay you all something) which kind of gave me hope.  So if you are a casino employee dont give up and go file for final payment.

i was also told to wait until after 12/16 to file my final payment.  i was caught in the ‘glitch’ after 8/23 so i am taking that advise. the claims person told me people who have a paid 6 month claim will get a letter stating what we would receive with an interim and what we would receive for a final.  he told me we didn’t have to file to receive the letter, i am confused by this, if it’s true, it will make things a lot easier, because getting the 6 month was not!  good luck to everyone!

I’m wondering how they are going to handle the denied claims.  Are we going to have to go through another approval or deny process that will drag this out another 6 to 9 months?

Mr. Feinberg is representing BP. Mr. Feinberg is being paid $850,000 a month by BP. The funds are submitted to the Law Firm of Feinberg & Rozen.
In the state of Alabama and any other state associated with the actions being taken against claims holders the Law Firm and Mr. Feinberg are in violation of the cannon of ethics that govern attorneys and judges. The cannon that Mr. Feinberg & Mr. Rozen are violating is listed below.

Alabama Rule 1.7 Conflict of Interest: General Rule

(a) A lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation of that client will be directly adverse to another client, unless:

  (1) the lawyer reasonably believes the representation will not adversely affect the relationship with the other client; and

  (2) each client consents after consultation.

(b) A lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation of that client may be materially limited by the lawyer’s responsibilities to another client or to a third person, or by the lawyer’s own interests, unless:

  (1) the lawyer reasonably believes the representation will not be adversely affected; and

  (2) the client consents after consultation. When representation of multiple clients in a single matter is undertaken, the consultation shall include explanation of the implications of the common representation and the advantages and risks involved.

I don’t know about anyone else, but my communication with the GCCF & Feinberg & Rozen have been laced with half truths, lies and aggressive tactics, on their part.

From the ;lies he told during a PBS interview, to the misrepresentations made during a 60 minutes piece, and the lies that the IT department were told to deliver regarding the availability of a Claims Data Information file, it would appear that Mr. Feinberg thinks the cannon of ethics is as important as roll of Charmin bath tissue.

The ethics violations are serious and even though Mr. Feinberg is being protected by the Obama administration, ethics violations do not fall under the executive branch authority.

Mr. Feinberg claims that he does not work for BP. I can tell you for a fact as a Final Claims holder he is not working for the best interest of my business.

BK Beach~

I like YOU!!  You think like me. 

(On the GCCF website)
Free services provided to claimants who need it will include deaf/hearing impaired and language interpretation (Spanish, Vietnamese & Khmer), and pro bono legal services will be made available if requested.

Published by a Nola Reporter on Published: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 By: David Hammer

Feinberg said that during the emergency claims process, fewer than 50 of more than 400,000 claimants asked for free legal service, and they were all connected with lawyers. Still, Feinberg admitted that interest in legal representation might spike after claimants seek final payment and see the waiver forms, and he promised to “watch it very carefully.”

I asked for a pro bono attorney three times.  I still have not heard from any of Feinbergs pro bono attorneys. 

Everyone that asked for a pro bono attorney on here your rights have been violated.  My attorney is looking into how we can go after this violation.


What is even more of a stand out for ethics violations are the many times that Feinberg is filmed saying one thing to a public audience and then doing a 180 off camera.

The real stand out violation is the conspiracy that was undertaken to keep the Claims Information Data file from being made available to the public. That was a Feinberg decision, one that included asking his IT department to lie about the status of the PDF file. When I requested information regarding the status file, the IT department lied and said there was a technical issue with the file and they had no date for a fix, that was November 16, 2010 Later that day I downloaded a copy of the file by using what information the commenter Rabin Hood posted.
This is without a doubt not only a violation of Claims Holder rights, but is also an organized action by Mr. Feinberg and the executive management of the GCCF to keep vital information from claims holders but at the same time allowing BP to access the same information.

It is organized and it i9s a conspiracy because it is an action undertaken to harm one side of the negotiations while favoring the defense.

having filed for a Final claim back in August I can’t wait for my chance to go before the three judge panel and argue the validity of my claim.

Thanks and Good Luck

Bruce Keffer
Inventor & Co-Founder
TheSport 4X4
thesport4x4 dot info

I would love a panel of Judges to argue my case too ! I found out not only did they NEVER fix my area but my FIELD was INCORRECT as well , instead of resort security , they denied me in part for being a temp staffing agent !! I have NEVER worked for a temp agency , why will my kids and I suffer for someone elses IDIOCY??? I am thinking of bringing suit against GCCF above and beyond my BP claim ! For suffering and mishandling my claim , anyone got an attorney brave enough to take that on?

I lost it today I was outside comcast just paid my bill and I over hear a guys laughing that he just got 20k from BP “yeah they just sent me the check LMAO can you believe I got away with that ” I got in my car and started to cry so hard I know that all our claims are different but It kills me that MY claim sat for 90+days then denial ON THANKSGIVING with no explanation I have SO much proof records tax returns calenders ect.. I really Hope and Pray that they reevaluate my claim or at least pay my final.

MR. Feinberg is taking a day off today as he speaks to a business college in ST Louis.
I’ve posted some comments on the local FOX affiliate board . Just in case the students see him as someone worth emulating. I for one believe that my negotiations with the GCCF have soured to a point where I can’t trust a single word spoken or printed regarding the process.

I will stay in the process because it would be a shame to let Feinberg win, without fighting for what is right!!.—executivepay-feinberg/10

Very nice comments Beach 4x4 :)

The simple reason for my EAP was…....drum roll.
The spill did not affect a resource we use to do business.
The Event was TheSport 4X4 International, “BEACH 4X4, Championship Tournament & Festival. To be filmed at the beach and broadcast over Ustream live for two days.

Ken Feinberg,  what about the word BEACH do you not understand, 

Especially when you extended proximity to include the Tampa Bay area?

We can take for granted that a company named British Petroleum, would most likely profit from the refining, consulting services and sale of oil?

A sport that encompasses several versions of play, one including BEACH 4X4, located in the state with the best beaches in the USA, should not take a rocket scientist to figure out connection to the business. Oh and BTW in case you were wondering we also have a wealth of Rocket Scientist in Florida to!

Ken Feinberg you are a FRIGGEN DUMB ASS!!!!!!!!

I see somehow Feinberg found a way to shut up Tony Kennon.  Two days now and nothing out of Tonys mouth about the visitor he had in his part of the woods.

Sad day when the the whole world is fooled….

You think the mayor took a payout from Feinberg?

On my case I got a call from status update people who told me to file an interim, and when I asked them if they knew the people over in screwed up claims processing, they had NO IDEA what I was talking about , so I sent an email to the guy at GCCF that Feinbergs office told to fix my claim or at least see what the hell happened to it ! And he called back within hours !!! And said , disregard any of the morons who call listen to him only ( my words not his) . And he also said they HAD TOO have everyone denied or approved on the EAP by Dec15th, this is comming from a higher up in GCCF so its prob true info! SO anyone still under review chin up there is an end in site !

The dec. 15th date is an order from the Justice Dept.probably the only entity that Feinberg wont mess with except Pres. Obama.  With 67,000 plus claims still under review and 10 days left everyones claim will be denied or paid pennies on the dollar.  They dont have time to truly review these last claims.

I know one guy thats said his was Needing more documentation for weeks. He never sent it in then fed ex shows up with a check friday. Guess what still says the same thing. Mine has been that way for over a month or two and I have sent them 56 pages of supported and organized documents.

all i know now is screw the ducks and birds…i need food…went from 50,000 a month to closed

The Feinberg & Rozen administered GCCF has denied over 60% of all claims for EAPs. They encourage all Claim Holders to file a final. Maybe they want to explain how the EAP process which was said to have less scrutiny that a final payment process has seen such a massive denial rate, and why the final denial rate will be any different.
I was denied an EAP, and knew I would be, even though I filed my Final Claim information on August 27th 2010. Denied December 03, 2010.
The funny thing though, now they say I have to file a final again, even though they have my information, and never in the four months I was under review asked for any more documentation, or made any additional inquiries.

That to me appears to be a decision to deny based on geography.

President Obama decried the BP process, then sank any hope for legit claims by putting Feinberg in charge. Feinberg is a man that denied 911 victims claims, even with medical and employment records that showed they were in the towers, or immediate area during the attack.

Still as of today the Claim Detail Information file has been blocked for access to Claims holders, but available to BP and others. Biased Mr. Feinberg, or outright hostile to claims holders who demand their rights that you plaster on the GCCF website, either way the system you set up is dynamic, as opposed to a static set of rules that reflect state, federal and disaster schedules.

guess what Beach!
Now you can’t access any report WTF does that mean.!

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