New Orleans (July 28) -- BP said today it estimates it will pay at least $60 million in advance payments in August to claimants across the Gulf Coast who have lost income or net profit due to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
BP, which has paid $256 million to date for claims including $30 million in the last seven days, will start making the advance payments by the end of this week. Claimants will receive their check about 30 days after they received their July payment.
“Our focus has been and remains on getting money into the hands of people who need it to pay their living expenses,” said Darryl Willis of BP’s claims team. “This advance payment program recognizes the importance of replacing income that has been lost.”
BP said it was making the announcement to insure that claimants know that while it will be transitioning its claims process to Ken Feinberg and the new Gulf Coast Claims Facility during August, this transition will not impact August advance payments.
“We are encouraged that a number of fishing areas have been reopened by both state and federal governments,” said Willis. “We hope this allows many who make their living in the Gulf to be able to begin doing so again. We also know that the Gulf represents a lot more than making a living; for many it is their way of life. We will be here for as long as it takes to make things right, and that means providing these advance monthly payments for loss of income to fishermen, crabbers, shrimpers and many others.”
BP has paid more than $237 million to individuals and businesses for loss of income or net profits since May. Those receiving payments and the amounts received to date include the following: fisherman, $39 million; shrimpers, $23 million; oyster harvesters, $8 million; and charter boat owners, $6 million; while more than $117 million has gone to individuals and businesses in a variety of occupations including those who work as deck hands and in seafood processing.
BP began issuing interim advance payments in May in order to get money into individuals’ hands as quickly as possible. Deckhands were advanced $2,500 per month while boat captains were advanced $5,000.
BP required only minimum documentation of deck hands, boat captains, shrimpers and others to receive the initial payment. Claimants have been asked by adjusters and through written correspondence to provide additional documentation to support their loss of income claim as subsequent payments are based on actual income.
BP has 36 claims offices and one mobile claims office in the Gulf Coast states and has 1600 people in its claims team. BP has received 133,000 claims and has issued more than 83,000 checks in the 12 weeks since it began making claim payments on May 3.