BP to cut payments on 40,000 claims of individuals affected by oil spill, cites paperwork problems

Meena Hartenstein
BP‘s latest move isn’t going to win the beleaguered oil giant any popularity points.

As oil continues to spew into the Gulf, BP has said it will significantly cut payments on claims to those impacted by the disaster because of problems with their paperwork, the Associated Press reported.

Kristy Nichols, the secretary of Louisiana‘s Department of Children and Family Services, sent an open letter to federal BP claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg on Friday, saying the company had confirmed to her that they would decrease payments “to individuals whose claims files were incomplete.”
Nichols cites a BP representative who told her that more than 40,000 of the 99,508 people who have filed claims may get lower checks.
That “will be devastating to individuals surviving financially month-to-month,” she said. “This action is irresponsible and in complete contrast to BP’s repeated promise that they will ‘make things right.'”
Nichols said that many people who have filed claims don’t have records that BP finds acceptable. “It is crucial that BP not continue to penalize these individuals and instead accept alternative forms of documentation, such as records held by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries,” she wrote.
She also suggested that the company look to the state to fill in any holes before punishing distressed individuals.

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