This is the second article discussing the townhall meeting that occurred Wednesday, January 19th with Ken Feinberg. [Read Feinberg Addresses Panama City Oil Spill Claims Concerns]
If you’re wanting to file a claim for damages related to the BP oil spill disaster, if you’re unhappy with what you’ve been so-far paid or if you think you’ll have further or ongoing damages related to the BP oil spill disaster, you have three options. Feinberg admitted that there is no one option that will work for everyone, so they devised three.
1.) Final Payment
Under this option, you’ll relinquish your right to make another claim or sue BP. This option is if you have no indication to believe that you or your business will continue to see damages from the BP oil spill. Being the second most popular option chosen thus far, 70,000 people have elected this method of closure to this whole mess. This solution is for those that feel the damages are done and they’re ready to settle up and move on.
2.) Interim Payment
The Interim Payment solution is for those that can still document ongoing damages from the BP oil spill. Feinberg gave a multitude of examples for who could fall under this category: tourism, fishing, fish and oyster houses, etc. He reported than many are still seeing damages and can document them, and he encouraged them to move forward with this option. Under this option, businesses could file a claim quarterly and receive compensation quarterly and as long as everything is well documented. 15,000 on the Gulf have chosen and moved forward with this option. This is the only option of the three in which you DO NOT relinquish your right to sue or make future claim to BP for damages related to this past summer’s oil spill.
3.) Quick Payment
Option three, the ability to accept a quick payment is the most popular and easiest of the three options. With 80,000 choosing this option, there are two sub options included with this choice, one for businesses and one for individuals. This option hinges on whether you’ve received an emergency payment. Those individuals who have received an emergency payment in which it was only partially what they had claimed or they can no longer document any losses can receive a quick payment of $5,000. For those businesses that fall under the same criteria aforementioned of individuals, they can receive a quick payment of $25,000. For this option, you relinquish your right to sue or make future claim to BP.
Feinberg stressed, almost defensively in angst that businesses and individuals are being paid all the time. $3.2 billion has been paid out already with $1.3 billion being paid out in Florida alone. He accepted responsibility for the fact that people are having a difficult time talking to a “live body” but reminded everyone that 450,000 claims is a big number to get pushed through.
He stressed that no business was ineligible for a claim and that everything was being looked at and carefully considered. But he continued to reiterate, “if you can’t document your claim, we’re not going to pay it.”
In the next two weeks, Feinberg announced that they will publish new criteria on the methodology for filing a claim under the new three options.