What is the GCCF?

The GCCF (Gulf Coast Claims Facility) was established in June 2010 to provide assistance to businesses and individuals affected by the BP Oil Spill. The creation of the GCCF was a joint effort by the Obama Administration and BP to compensate the victims for loss of property and other damages.

BP Oil placed $20 billion in an escrow fund to finance the settlement claims by victims. The GCCF was tasked to review all Gulf Coast claims and provide a settlement to individuals and businesses who filed these claims. One issue surrounding the GCCF included their decision to allocate a small portion of the fund to pay for claims each year. This meant that a majority of claimants would have to wait for years before they were paid. The GCCF has now been replaced.

What has Replaced the GCCF?

In June, 2012, a court ordered settlement resulted in the creation of the Deep Water Horizon Claims Center (DHCC). Due to the fact that this facility is regulated by a settlement agreement over 1000 pages in length, there are a lot more stringent guidelines as to how individuals and businesses are being paid. The original estimate by BP on how much this fund would encompass was $7.8 billion, but the actual amount is unlimited.

What are the Priority Areas of the New Program?

Economic Damage Claim –Both businesses and individuals, are eligible to receive just compensation for damages that caused loss of profits, income, earnings and business. This does not include any loss of earnings due to injury.

Property Owners and Lease Holders – This includes Coastal Real Property damage and Real Property Sales damage. For anyone owning or leasing property on the coast from the dates of April 20, 2010 to December 31, 2010, compensation can be received due to physical property damage. For any property owned or leased during this same time, compensation can be received due to reduced value of sales.

Who is eligible to receive Economic and Property Damages settlement claims?

Business and individuals who own or lease properties, who live, AND who work in the Gulf Coast Area are included and may be eligible for the settlement claim under this section. This includes the entire states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, four South Eastern counties of Texas lying on water, and West Coast Florida. The adjacent Gulf Waters are also included.

Are there medical benefits provided under this settlement?

Medical benefits are not included under the Economic and Property Damages Settlement. There is a separate Class Settlement that provides for all medical claims as a result of the spill. Any claimant who believes he/she is eligible for a medical claim is free to file a separate claim.

Are economic loss claims included under this settlement?

Yes, but there are certain types of businesses that are excluded under this settlement. Examples include: casinos, financial institutions, insurance, government claims, and the oil and gas industry.

If a claimant already signed a GCCF final release, will they still be eligible under this settlement?

If the release was signed before February 27, 2012, they are no longer eligible under this settlement.

Is it necessary for a claimant to have filed a claim under the GCCF to be eligible for DHCC?

No, it is not necessary for a claimant to have filed under GCCF. If a claimant has previously submitted documents to the GCCF, it is not necessary to re-file all of these under the new program. These claims and associated documentation will be transferred to the new settlement program so that claimants do not need to start over.

Who is eligible?

Businesses – Any business earning revenue as of April 20, 2010, even if just started the day before.

Employee / Independent Contractor – Any employee/independent contractor of either:

  1. “previously qualified” employer/business OR
  2. if the employer is not qualified, then a showing of the direct effect of the BP Oil spill on wages/earnings

Note – To qualify under 1. b. i., the employee/independent contractor must have been employed by the qualified employer as of April 20, 2010.

Are the payments real?

Businesses -  My firm’s average business economic loss claim is approximately $90,000

Employees – don’t have enough data yet, but have received thousands of dollars for employees

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