BP Getting Strict with Claims

Posted on: July 8th, 2010 by

Financial Planning - Rockville, MDBP is becoming increasingly strict with its demands for documentation from victims filing claims for lost wages and income in the Gulf region.  Immediately following the spill, many initial payments were distributed in uniform amounts with minimum documentation necessary based on estimates.  Now, BP is only going to make payments based on very specific documentation of the losses.  As a result of these more stringent standards, some claimants could get more money than the standard check they have been receiving while others could get much less.

Those claimants that are already in the claims system but have yet to submit the necessary documentation will get a $1,000 “good faith” check for July as they continue to gather papers, but they will not get full payment until proper documentation has been submitted.  Once the claimant submits the necessary documents, if they show that the victim is due more than the $1,000 advance payment for July, BP said it will provide a supplemental payment to make up the difference.

In the first months after the oil spill, BP was just cutting checks to the victims based on estimates without requiring specific documentation.  For example, boat captains that ran a crew got a $5,000 initial check and deckhands got $2,500.  The problem, especially in this scenario, was that fishermen earn the bulk of their annual pay in a few peak months that vary depending on the particular seafood being caught.  Now, when they submit their paperwork, those variations will be accounted for.

As BP tightens its demand for documentation, the company insists it is not trying to shortchange any claimants.  I don’t believe Gulf residents will see it this way at all.  Is BP trying to shirk responsibility?



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