Voices of the Gulf—Challenges with the Claims Process

 

Two Senators, from Alabama and Louisiana, speaking at a January Senate hearing on the Oil Spill, best summarizes the plethora of challenges with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility processes.

“In Alabama, 57% of claims remain unpaid which means 38,604 individual and business haven’t received one penny. In Baldwin County, AL, between January 12th and the 24th, only 28 claims were processed, which amounts to less than 3 per day. In its reporting the GCCF makes no distinction between how many claims were paid and how many were underpaid. There is a lack of clear formula re how claims are being calculated, People need to know. Mr. Feinberg told me on Dec 16 that this information would be available. Now it is six weeks later and the information is still not available. Those affected need to know there is transparency, clarity, and consistency.”—Senator Shelby, January 27th Senate Hearings on Oil Spill

“The way Feinberg presents information at the various forums touting billions of dollars and thousands number of claims paid doesn’t present the full picture. Over 57% of claims paid in Louisiana are quick claims. Those most impacted, most hurt, are not taking those quick payments, so they are still waiting and standing in line.  Lots of money hs gone to tourism type people and I don’t deny that those people are in need, but only a tiny percentage has gone to fisherfolk. I’d like to caution all of us to use full metrics.” –Senator Vitter, January 27th Senate Hearings on Oil Spill

I participated in an Gulf Coast Claims Facility Town Hall Meeting in January and the content showed the level of discontent and challenges folks have had with the process. Please excuse the ragged videography and focus on the content. 🙂

Byron Encalade of the Louisiana Oystermen’s Association details several shortcomings of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility and how this impacts his community in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.

Thao Jennifer Vu of Mercy Housing and Development shares the challenges faced by the Vietnamese American community in trying to navigate the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.

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