Speaking at a town hall meeting in Orange Beach, Ala. on Wednesday, oil spill claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg acknowledged that payments have come too slow, and in some cases have been too small, according to the Pensacola News-Journal:
Feinberg promised quicker turn-around on claims along with other including less “micro-managing” of documentation. He brought 20 adjusters with him today who will help accelerate claims on site at the recreation center.
When Feinberg announced that the adjusters were available, some in the crowd decided to forgo the rest of the town hall meeting and meet with adjusters.
In addition to his pledge to speed up the process, Feinberg told the gathering that for some claimants whose initial payments were too small, supplemental checks would soon be in the mail.
The Gulf Coast Claims Facility currently bears this notice on its homepage:
The GCCF has reviewed payments for lost income and lost profits made to date and has determined that adjustments to payments made to certain claimants are appropriate. Supplemental checks for these certain claimants will be mailed within the next few weeks. The adjustment is currently in progress. The Toll Free Help Line will not have specific information regarding supplemental checks until after September 15, 2010.
Despite these pledged improvements and an announcement on Tuesday that he will work to honor the claims of Florida businesses located away from oil-covered beaches, Feinberg faced additional criticism from state officials.
After hearing from distressed business owners in need of a quick infusion of cash to avoid being forced to shut down, Gov. Charlie Crist and Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink sent Feinberg a joint letter calling on him to hire more workers to process emergency claims faster — “certainly within three to five days of their filing.”
Drawing on criticisms voiced during the most recent meeting of Florida’s Oil Spill Economic Recovery Task Force, they also called on Feinberg to simplify the process to make it more accessible to the average claimant without requiring the help of outside lawyers.