Thousands of Floridians opting for ‘quick pay’ oil spill claims
Oil spill claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg announced a “quick pay” option last month, which would allow anyone who has already received a payment from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility to accept a check worth $5,000 for individuals or $25,000 for businesses without providing additional documentation, in exchange for waiving the right to sue BP.
So far, nearly 11,000 individuals and 3,555 businesses have chosen that option in Florida as of Dec. 31, and more than half of those have already been paid.
Approximately half of all the claims paid so far by the facility in Florida fall below $25,000 for businesses and $5,000 for individuals. Feinberg said at the time of his announcement that he expected the “quick pay” option would appeal to thousands of claimants who were happy with what they had received under the emergency claims process and just wanted to get on with their lives.
Claimants seeking more money can apply for final payments, and Florida claimants have so far chosen that option in greater numbers than the “quick pay” route. More than 19,000 individuals and 3,891 businesses have applied for final payments.
Far fewer (3,570 individuals and 874 businesses) have chosen interim payments, which come in three-month intervals and don’t require claimants to waive their right to sue.
So far, of the three options, only “quick pay” claims have been paid in Florida since the emergency claims process ended last month. The fund has paid a total of more than $2.7 billion in claims, of which $1 billion has gone to Florida. That includes more than $160 million in “quick” payments, of which more than $70 million has gone to Florida.
Last week, Feinberg told Bloomberg News he thought $10 billion might be enough to cover claims for economic losses resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.