Journalism in the Public Interest

Gulf Claims Chief Announces Payment Plan That Assumes Quick Recovery

Gulf spill paymaster Kenneth Feinberg today released a draft of his long-awaited methodology for deciding payments on final claims for damages from the BP oil spill – and has endorsed an optimistic prediction of how quickly the region’s economy will recover that is likely to spark controversy among claimants.

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Feb. 18, 2011, 8:41 p.m.

Final methodology just posted on the GCCF website


Feb. 18, 2011, 9:02 p.m.




Feb. 18, 2011, 9:10 p.m.


you’re not going to get 30k because you worked offshore and not in taco bell…but at least we know we are eligible for this


Feb. 19, 2011, 9:48 a.m.

Now that 2 weeks have come and gone and the same S—-T when will they start cuting cks . I just don’t understand it ?

Mona Lisa

Feb. 19, 2011, 11:35 a.m.

Was the Justice Department in on the conversation where BP told Feinberg that he was being too generous? 

I thought that, as criminal charges are pending, they wouldn’t get an opinion, especially since Mr. Feinberg is acting as an independent agent on behalf of the Gulf Coast Citizens of the United States.

BP is still making billions, they have trashed a lot of peoples lives, killed 11 (bless their families), and yet they think they are too generous with the proposed $10 billion they hope to settle from the fund.

This is treason and I hope the Justice Department steps in.


Feb. 19, 2011, 11:53 a.m.

In the final rules posted yesterday, Feinberg mentioned several issues that were brought up in the comments. Did you notice what he did not mention? Growth, as I saw many comments address the fact that thier pre-spill sales for 2010 were much better that their sales for the past few years for the same period.

If I missed it and it was there, please point it out, but in reading the whole thing and then searching for the word growth I didn’t see it addressed.


Feb. 19, 2011, 11:57 a.m.

well i just called about my quick pay i was desperate for and the man said finals are going out now whoopy shit they should have went out months ago and about 20 times more and he said they have people waiting a month for the quick pay what the hell it says 14 days if i have to wait a month i will be screwed again my power will get cut off 1 more time what a joke


Feb. 19, 2011, 12:11 p.m.

i wish feinberg told all these lies and ripped people off i another country cause they would have already cut his tongue out and cut his hands off and why the hell hasnt OBAMA done something to help us i know one thing election time is coming and i WILL NOT vote for him i would rather elect my pitt bull she is smarter than all of these idiots and hey SHE LISTENS

al t

Feb. 19, 2011, 12:19 p.m.

I’m surprised that people and the media haven’t caught on to the final protocol language that was changed yesterday to be more restrictive as to who is eligible.  Basically unless your business or job is directly related to the water or tourism you are not covered.  It is a much more stringent wording than what was stated in the feb. 2 proposed eligibility.

Mona Lisa

Feb. 19, 2011, 12:27 p.m.

By Laurel Brubaker Calkins and Allen Johnson Jr. - Feb 18, 2011

BP Plc’s $20 billion oil-spill damages fund, run by Kenneth Feinberg, “far exceeds” the company’s legal obligations to compensate victims of the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, company lawyers said in a court filing.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier of New Orleans, who is overseeing more than 350 lawsuits seeking damages for economic and personal injuries from the BP oil spill, asked for opinions on whether the company is doing enough to satisfy a U.S. law requiring a party responsible for an oil spill to compensate victims.

“That there may be different ways to run a claims process does not mean that the GCCF’s chosen methods fail to comply” with the law, Don Haycraft, one of BP’s lawyers, said in the filing. The statute “does not give claimants, or the attorneys general, any right to demand judicial involvement in or modification of the claims process.”

The BP claims process isn’t working, public officials from Gulf Coast states and lawyers suing the company said in opposing filings with the court. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood asked Barbier in a filing yesterday to appoint the Gulf Coast state attorneys general or other independent watchdogs to monitor Feinberg’s claims-payment facility, which Hood said “is operating without sufficient oversight.”

BP has used Feinberg’s claims-payment facility to “avoid court oversight and to evade adherence to the mandates” of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which governs payment for offshore spill damages, Hood said in the filing.

“From the outset, Mr. Feinberg has acted as though he was a law unto himself—free to ignore the requirements of OPA,” Hood said.

Feinberg said spill victims dissatisfied with the settlements offered by the claims fund can apply every three months to receive interim payments for documented losses from the spill. No interim damage payments have been processed since November, and Feinberg wasn’t clear on when those payments would resume, officials for Louisiana, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi said in court filings.

“Payments have not been prompt, the rules are not uniform and understandable, and the process does not comply with OPA,” Louisiana’s Governor Bobby Jindal and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said in papers filed Feb. 17.

If Feinberg doesn’t promptly begin paying interim claims, Jindal and Caldwell asked the judge to “order emergency payments be resumed immediately and continued until the court provides the protocols.” They also said the law requires BP to pay interest on damage claims once they are processed, which they said Feinberg hasn’t done.

“Financially desperate” fishermen, property owners and small businesses feel pressured to take quick, cheap settlements because they can’t survive on Feinberg’s interim payment plan, Hood said.

Feinberg’s requirements that victims provide documentation of their losses or demonstrate proximity to a contaminated beach to receive payment has “improperly increased the burdens of proof” from what OPA originally established, Hood said. Feinberg has denied or underpaid claims without adequate explanation, he said.

Stephen Herman and James Roy, speaking for lawyers representing victims suing BP, Halliburton Energy Services, Transocean Ltd. and other companies involved in drilling the well that caused the spill, asked Barbier in a separate filing yesterday to void all releases signed by claimants who didn’t have independent attorneys at the time.

Hood said Barbier should prohibit all releases and force Feinberg to stop making final settlements. All claims should be treated as interim claims, as OPA requires, he said.

‘Game of Chance’
“OPA does not envision nor permit its mandated claims process to be converted into a game of chance in which claimants are asked to bet on what the future will bring,” Hood said.

Justice Department lawyers, in papers filed yesterday, didn’t support or oppose BP’s claim that it is satisfying its OPA obligations through Feinberg’s claims-payment process.

“As the United States has said from the outset, the success of the GCCF can only be measured by whether the people of the Gulf feel fairly treated,” government attorneys said in the filing.

BP’s lawyer, Haycraft, said in yesterday’s court filing that placing Feinberg under court supervision would subvert the reason Congress established the OPA claims process.

“While BP has great respect for this court,’’ Haycraft said, placing Feinberg under court supervision would create a process “that provides parties and nonparties alike the opportunity to review and second guess claims decisions and subject every aspect of the process to litigation, delay and disruption—precisely what Congress sought to avoid under that act.’’

al t

Feb. 20, 2011, 8:03 a.m.

Interesting comment from GCCF
“That offer should help claimants submit proper documentation to back up their claims; less than 17% had submitted completed 2010 documentation as of Friday, the GCCF said.”
The GCCF knows to the 1% how many claims have complete documentation as of 2/19.  Does that mean that the first step when they start to process claims is to delay 83% of the claims for further documentation?


Feb. 20, 2011, 10 a.m.

In direct contradiction to Feinbergs skewed reports about the oil, A U of Georgia scientist just finished a report on the findings of a sub they took down to examine the sea floor. The oil is still everywhere!  We all knew that but now that this report is making national headlines I wonder if Feinberg will do anything….............NOT!

Here’s the story


Feb. 20, 2011, 10:04 a.m.

Scientist finds Gulf bottom still oily, dead

Being as my link to the above story was held back….......just copy and paste the first line above and search.

In direct contradiction to Feinbergs skewed reports about the oil, A U of Georgia scientist just finished a report on the findings of a sub they took down to examine the sea floor. The oil is still everywhere!  We all knew that but now that this report is making national headlines I wonder if Feinberg will do anything….............NOT!

BK Beach 4X4

Feb. 20, 2011, 10:10 a.m.

You know how most families have a character that they dread, yet are secretly anxious to attend reunions because that person more than likely will get drunk and piss everyone off by telling the truth and insulting the host.
Well Ken Feinberg isn’t that person, he is the person you know will show up and tell stories about 80 pound trout, swimming the English Channel; and being attacked by the neighborhood kids for putting speed bumps on the sidewalk in front of his camera heavy compound. He’ll claim that he is working for the good of everyone at the reunion only to ask for a discount at the open bar, or for his mother in-law to pay for parking.

Well the Feb 18th changes have worked in my favor, beach located and tourist powered. Having refrained from submitting my Final until the dust settles from the spinning GCCF methodology, my claim just got a B12 shot.  The funny thing is Jesus could submit a claim for slipping a disc while attempting to walk across the oil slicked GOM Feinberg would ask for references and challenge the claim as fraud.

Imagine most of our claims will go uncompensated, be under compensated, or worst yet,drop into a settlement argument limbo. The 4-20-2011 one year anniversary is fast approaching. BP has record profits the gulf coast communities have record levels of Corexit damage, economic loss and stress enough to give God ocular migraines.

I am submitting my claim with no expectations that things have suddenly changed for the better at the GCCF. Literally, I have been treated with more respect by cartel members who tried to kill me back during TheSport 4X4 1987 South American drug educational campaign, than by anyone at the GCCF or the law offices of Feinberg & Rozen.

BK Beach4X4

Feb. 20, 2011, 7:40 p.m.


there it is, does anyone need to say anything else for history to record the truth?

Remember folks, it took over 100 years until NBC Reporter Roger Mudd cleared his ancestors name in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Now the phrase your name is Mudd holds no meaning in US history.

This is only the first year, but the world is much different now. We has information access, approved or otherwise that will set the record straight and make sure history paints with colors everyone can understand.

Joseph great snapshot of who, what and why GOM citizens are a treasure of America.

Buckle up GCCF, Feinberg, Obama, my turn!!!!

Mike I

Feb. 21, 2011, 9:17 p.m.

OK !! why have no further information about when interim and final claims been put out anywhere it seems like once the Czar put it it stone I expected movement rather quickly I would think his team had almost 3 weeks to put their office in place and finally get the payments to the people who need it it the most I just can’t believe this is like this I have to say after almost 6 months in waiting and waiting I am truly at the end of my patience where can I can info on claims This is so crazy and very very disappointing Help!


Feb. 22, 2011, 8:54 a.m.

i hear ya mike it is once again a bull shit story from these people they are not even paying the quick claims now the statistics are not changing at all has any one on here actualy got a final offer since they put the method in motion last week


Feb. 22, 2011, 11:29 a.m.

well this just in bp defends claims process go figure i know one thing i have some pics i just posted on my facebook page that showes the oil in the water on destin beach about 35 miles from me here in florida i wish sosha would email me now so i could send them to him or if any one on here knows how i can get then on a main stream so the world can see and make them people see the oil is still here so quit saying it is gone because i have proof that you are telling one big fat lie again


Feb. 22, 2011, 11:51 a.m.

From GCCF Home page:

Since the posting of the Final Rules Governing Payment Options, Eligibility and Substantiation Criteria, and Final Payment Methodology, the GCCF has made the following Final Determination Offers and Interim Payments:

Interim Claims Paid (with Final Determination Offers): 466 processed and paid
Final Determination Offers: 1,489


Feb. 22, 2011, 12:32 p.m.

Wow some people are getting offers….has anyone on here received anything via mail or does your status have an offer letter?


Feb. 22, 2011, 12:36 p.m.

They are now finding baby Dolphins washing up on shore in Miss. and Alabama! 17 babies in the last 2 weeks!
The calving season is just starting and this number is really high as they have been studying them for 20-30 years.
Tests are being done but I’ll bet BP will give them a grant and it will be considered “normal” by the time it’s all said and done.


Feb. 22, 2011, 12:40 p.m.

well thats bs why when they did the statistics is that still showing only one interum payment and 2 final thats a lie


Feb. 22, 2011, 1:29 p.m.



Feb. 22, 2011, 5:13 p.m.

I am sure the people who were paid are the ones who made the BULLSHIT commericals for BP! !


Feb. 23, 2011, 9:42 a.m.

Accordiong to their statitics, the average final offer is right over $12,000.


Feb. 23, 2011, 11 a.m.

I sent my Final Claim in on December 16th and my status still reads ” Received. ” Does anyone else have a different status other than Received ?


Feb. 23, 2011, 11:20 a.m.

My final claim was received November 22nd and status still reads “received”.  Does anyone think we will get better compensation by going with an interim?


Feb. 23, 2011, 11:38 a.m.

I sent my final in Nov as well and it says “received”. They are probably paying people who hired attorneys to do their final claims first. It’s so pathetic!


Feb. 23, 2011, 11:41 a.m.

I am considering hiring an attorney as well.  If it means that I can get closer to the compensation I deserve I think it’s worth it.  I’m just not sure if that’s the outcome I will get by retaining legal services.


Feb. 23, 2011, 11:51 a.m.

I sent my final in Nov as well and it says “received”.


Feb. 23, 2011, 11:55 a.m.

Full Review Final Claim Received


Feb. 23, 2011, Noon


When I went to my local GCCF office in Jan. to file, the sup. they told me if you had an attorney listed on your file, they were pushing those to the side to process last. Of course he could have been just telling me that, to make me not want to contact one. The reason we were talking about attorneys that day is every time they pulled my file up a different attorney name came up as associated with my file, and I had never spoken to one nor gave one access to my info. He said it was a glitch in their system.

With the final offers they posted today, being the average of 12K, if that is all an attorney can do it’s not worth it.

Now holding out and going to court is different, of course that may take years and the attorney will get a larger %.

They are really lowballing with these offers it seems. Of course until people start telling what their offer is we don’t know the particulars and if they are individual or business.

I don’t understand why they are pushing people to sue, but they are not afraid to insult claimants with low offers. I mean, how much can we take? I thought they wanted this settled and out of the spotlight but now I really think they want to watch us suffer and humiliate us. It’s like, how dare we want them to fix what they screwed up.

Maybe they know something we don’t, like we will all be dead before we get to court. They are just spitting on us now, and saying “Hey, look what we can do!” Next they will say we owe them for the spilled oil.


Feb. 23, 2011, 12:34 p.m.

@LucyW: Some Attorneys are only charging 20% to file BP claims for their clients. They are filling out the paperwork and sending it in for their clients.


Feb. 23, 2011, 1:55 p.m.

I thought about the interim filing too even though I filed for the final ...then they were pushing eveyone to file the interim….which made me suspicious so I just left it at the final….not that I have any reason to be suspicious of them or anything…..yeah right !!!


Feb. 23, 2011, 4:43 p.m.

Noticed on the Statistics pages there is no place for “denied claims” ...they are going to wait to deny and do it all at once I bet!


Feb. 23, 2011, 4:52 p.m.

what i dont understand is out of 450 paid finals that have been paid 399 of those were in florida and i live in florida but alabama is in the middle and those people are not getting paid what is going on with that and also the quick payment says no review no documentation and no questions asked i am not a lawyer but it doesnt take one to figure out if they dont pay you that within 14 days that contract not to sue is void so these people need to put in for a final and get a lawyer if they dont pay


Feb. 23, 2011, 8:29 p.m.

Based on the averages of the interim paid and final claims offered, they are all below the quick pay.  It looks like they are only paying the smaller claims trying to force them into quick pay.  Again, quick pay is the NUMBER ONE goal.


Feb. 24, 2011, 9:32 a.m.

So they made almost another 3,000 final offers yesterday, but only paid 6 more interim claims. After pushing so hard for us to file interim instead of final I should have know they would stall the interims. 

Their data shows 1,092 final offers were made to interim filers, but only 471 were paid an interim payment. So far then, more half of interim claims processed won’t be getting an interim check, just a final offer.

Really, this whole thing has gone to a lower level that I ever imagined it could.


Feb. 24, 2011, 9:55 a.m.

Why aren’t they breaking down how many business and Individual Final payments they have sent offers too? This is a bunch of wishy washy b.s.!!  They want everyone to keep a little hope I suppose. Who knows! Transparency my ass!


Feb. 24, 2011, 10:28 a.m.

ok get this i filed my quick pay because i could not wait any more it said received then under review yesterday itr said paid and i have not gotten the money so i called and they said i see on the web site they issued the payment however my computer does not show a payment i will transfer you to a quick claim expert wtf thats a joke no experts in that freekin place so i talked with a woman that knew exactly what he said NOTHING she said mabe they are updating our computers yeah right like they do that all day they have no clue what the hell is going on either

charles m

Feb. 24, 2011, 7:55 p.m.

Called GCCF today to check my final claim acceptance date and to check status. They told me it was now under review despite the website saying received. I then called back twice to see if I would get different answers, because usually they will all say different things, but to my surprise they all said the same thing.


Feb. 24, 2011, 8:26 p.m.

I called today as well.  Unfortunately, my status is still “received”.  After asking numerous questions about the order in which final claims are being reviewed, I was transferred to someone in the “research department”. He told me the 90 day review period still holds true because they didn’t start reviewing until the middle of December - whatever.  Anyway, he said he has heard of a lot of claimants who have received offers this week whose claims were received around the same time mine was - which was November 23rd.  He said if I don’t receive an offer by the end of this week he would expect me too by mid-March.


Feb. 25, 2011, 3:05 a.m.

It will be really messed up if the GCCF wait exactly 90 days to tell an individual or business that they need more documentation causing another 90 day delay. I noticed that a lot of claims are just sitting there again.  They have the formula in place.  I do not understand what can possible be the hold up now.


Feb. 25, 2011, 10:07 a.m.

I know if they know that 80% are missing documents or whatever why the hell aren’t they telling anyone!! Such B.S.!! I submitted mine the first day we were allowed and I sent it in via email they say it is received and being reviewed I was initally denied for what reason I don’t know! still do not know they say a reason will be posted shortly that was like 2 months ago… blah blah never nothing was ever posted!  I bet they are going to deny us all again! if so I will send mine to an Attorney and let it drag out…..These reports coming out about the safety of the seafood we are eating AND the health of the BP clean up help! WoW! Our Government is so Corrupt!  All the restarants in AL are serving Gulf Seafood! I see a MASSIVE law suit coming about! Everyone better save their receipts of where they ate ect!


Feb. 25, 2011, Noon

Do they send out letters on accepting a final payment do they post it on the site first? I dont know anyone who has received one yet


Feb. 25, 2011, 12:12 p.m.

According to the representative I spoke to earlier, they can check and see if any letters have gone out.  I don’t know if it will be posted where we can see it on our status before we actually receive the letter or not.


Feb. 25, 2011, 3:46 p.m.

called today and they said a offer letter was sent out to me on the 23rd. have not received it yet, but also they could not discuss the content of the letter????? Have not seen it on my claim status page either.Hope this puts an end to our wait. 90 days today is when we filed for the final.


Feb. 25, 2011, 4:23 p.m.

It’s been 95 days for me.  Hopefully, mine will come soon.


Feb. 25, 2011, 8:53 p.m.

I went in to my local GCCF office just to ask if they could look in my file and tell me if I was sent one of the “more documentation” letters,  if they came up with anything new I needed I wanted to know right now and not wait for a letter. My file still shows “received” and no notes about more documentation.

I wasn’t going to ask about calculations or anything because I really don’t expect the local office to have the answers or be honest with me anyway. But the rep. started talking about my figures and said a couple of times they would probably offer me about $5k final. I must have looked at him like he was nuts. (The first time I went in there, originally to file a final but they talked me into an interim, the supervisor start to look at my claim and said “You got $60k EAP so you don’t want to file a $25k quick pay, it would be too low.”)

As I spoke to the rep. today, he kept saying things like ‘Oh, but they don’t care about this years losses or 2012, just 2010 losses.” I told him they have to care about this years losses for the 2011 quarters, as interim payments are for actual losses that happen it 2011. He just looked at me. He kept saying things that didn’t add up to me and while I really wasn’t there to talk about amounts, his news confused me so I tried to straighten things out. I left confused anyway.

Here is the gist of the way he said final payments will be made, without getting into what they divide, subtract etc to get the loss amount: (I used these 2 examples below and he said the first one is how it is done)

A fisherman showed a documented loss of $100,000 in 2010. By some miracle or fluke, the fisherman got EAP payment for $100,000. So by looking at his 2010 financials he had NO 2010 loss. 0 x 2 years loss = 0. No final offer.

I thought it worked this way:

$100,000 loss, EAP of $100,000. $100,000 x 2 years = $200,000 - $100,000 (EAP) = $100,000 final offer.

I knew they subtracted the EAP from your final offer, but I didn’t know that they added it to your revenue for 2010. The rep. at the GCCF office had my head spinning so fast I still can’t figure it out. What is your take on this? Is there a clear cut answer on the GCCF website? If so I must have looked at it wrong.

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