An important deadline for businesses, individuals and government entities impacted by the BP oil spill is fast approaching. November 23, 2010 is the last day claimants can apply for an Emergency Advance Payment from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. Missing this deadline will make it impossible to receive any emergency payment from the $20 billion BP oil spill compensation fund.
Businesses, individuals and government entities who suffered economic losses or physical injury as a result of the BP oil spill are eligible to file two types of claims: Emergency Advance Payments and long-term final damage claims. They have until November 23, 2010 to file Emergency Advance Payment claims for up to 6 months of economic losses or physical injuries. Claims forms for final payments must be submitted by August 23, 2013.
Claimants may accept an Emergency Advance Payment without waiving any of their legal rights. Accepting a final payment of long-term damages requires that claimants waive their right to sue BP or any of the parties responsible for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Any Emergency Advance Payments will be deducted from any final long-term damage payment a claimant receives. However, it is important to note that claimants may accept an Emergency Advance Payment and still reject the final payment if they find it to be unsatisfactory.
According to a summary compiled by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, $1.5 billion dollar has so far been paid to claimants. Claims received thus far include 234,879 individual claimants and 47,809 business claimants. So far, 86,392 have been paid; 137,016 require additional information or documentation; 232 were referred to government moratorium and real estate funds; 8,613 were denied, and 50,435 were still under review.
While claimants can file for Emergency Advance Payments on their own, some may want to seek legal help in doing so. Help filing claims and other legal assistance for the victims of the BP oil spill is available at www.bigspill.com.