As of August 23, 2010, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (“GCCF”) officially took over from BP to serve as an independent administrator of the process for submitting and resolving claims by individuals and businesses with costs and damages incurred as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. With BP paying the claims, GCCF is charged with creating a one-stop process whereby claimants can submit compensation claims. For potential claimants and the organizations helping them, that process is already generating numerous questions and concerns about the rules for seeking compensation and the best strategies for achieving relief that is timely and fair.

The Emergency Advance Payment period is now closed. The GCCF will not be accepting requests to review Emergency Advance Payment determinations. However, claimants who believe that their Emergency Advance Payment was incorrectly determined may file an Interim Claim. The GCCF will adjust the calculation of a previously paid Emergency Advance Payment and include any additional compensation as part of the Interim Payment.

There are currently three claims options for claimants:

1. Interim payment: Similar to Emergency Claims–compensation for documented losses. In 3-month increments. No waiver of legal rights must be signed.

2. Final payment: Intended to compensate all previous and future losses. A waiver of all legal rights against BP, GCCF and affiliated parties must be signed.

3. Final Quick Pay: Intended to compensate all previous and future losses with a one-time payment of $5,000 for individuals and $25,000 for businesses. A waiver of all legal rights against BP, GCCF and affiliated parties must be signed.

To date the Louisiana Claims Technical Assistance Network does not recommend accepting a Final Payment or Quick Pay in most circumstances due to the uncertainty of future environmental impacts.The following documents can explain this recommendation: Gulf Coast State Attorneys General Statement on Final and Quick Pay Claims Payments (in English, Spanish and Vietnamese), the same document in an easy-to-understand format (in English, Spanish and Vietnamese).

Please call the claims technical assistance hotline (866-325-2046) if you need help with your claim.

If you need legal help or want to speak to a lawyer please contact Southeast Louisiana Legal Services BP Oil Spill Outreach (504) 340-1381 ext. 29 (Spanish: 504-529-1000 ext. 239, Vietnamese: 504-529-1000 ext. 4).

GCCF has created a Claimant Bill of Rights, assuring rights to equal and ethical treatment, access, privacy, timely information about your claim and decision, and the right to a fair review and determination of your claim.

According to GCCF, any individual or business that incurred damages as a result of the Oil Spill may submit a claim for:

You can file a claim:

If you have previously filed a claim with BP, GCCF already has your information, but you should apply again to them directly. See other Frequently Asked Questions.

Top 4 Tips for filing a claim:

  1. Keep copies of all of your paperwork, and when it was filed.
  2. Get the name and direct phone number (if possible) of everyone you talk to throughout the claims process. Record notes of each conversation including date and time.
  3. When filing a claim, write a one-page summary of your situation and clearly explain how the oil spill has affected your life, property and/or business.
  4. Attach a post-it to each page of your claims application explaining what the document is and how it relates to your claim.

The following organizations are part of a Claims Technical Assistance Network, and can assist claimants that face difficulty in the filing process.

If you need technical assistance with your claim please call 866-325-2046. Also see the Times-Picayune article regarding this number and the state support of non-profit technical assistance providers.

A Shared Initiative, Inc. (ASII)
Located in New Orleans Ninth Ward and affiliated with ASI Federal Credit Union, ASII provides expertise in mortgage lending, financing, and tax implications.
Contact: Lang Le
Phone: (504) 940-5924
Email: lang.le@asifcu.com

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans (CCANO)
Based in New Orleans, CCANO maintains five sites in the following parishes: Orleans, St. Bernard, Plaquemines (east and west), and Jefferson. Case management and mental health services are available to individuals and families affected by the Horizon Oil Spill.
Contact: Martin Gutierrez
Phone: 504-310-6914
Fax: 504-596-3098
Email: mgutierrez@ccano.org

Coastal Communities Consulting (CCC)
CCC provides expertise of the fishing industry, specifically of and to the Vietnamese-American fishermen; coordinates services with Seedco Financial and with local government in Lafitte, LA.
Contact: Sandy Nguyen
Phone: (504) 628-2097
Email: sandy@ccc-nola.org

Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO Inc.)
Representing the Greater New Orleans region, GNO, Inc. is an economic development organization providing claims TA to processors as well as peer training to other TA providers.
Contact: Emily Danielson
Phone: (504) 527-6963
Email: edanielson@gnoinc.org

Literacy Alliance
Housed in Orleans Parish, the Literacy Alliance provides Plain Language training, document editing and document translation services to ensure all documents are readable by the general public.
Contact: Rachel Nicolosi
Phone: (504) 864-7012
Email: nicolosi@loyno.edu

Mary Queen of Viet Nam Community Development Center (MQVN CDC)
Based in New Orleans East, MQVN CDC is a community based economic development organization that serves a predominantly Vietnamese American population with Limited English Proficiency.
Contact: Tuan Nguyen
Phone: (504) 225-9170
Email: tuannguyen@mqvncdc.org

Operation HOPE (HOPE)
Based in New Orleans, HOPE provides economic empowerment services to populations needing financial recovery assistance after disasters. HOPE provides free small business coaching. HOPE also provides free claims assistance for those affected by the oil spill.
Contact: Rita Laners
Phone: (504) 309-6153

Seedco Financial Services (SFS)
With a branch office in Plaquemines Parish, SFS provides a variety of financial services to the commercial fishing industry.
Contact: Myla Reese Poree
Phone: (504) 392-2454
Email: mreese@seedco.org

South Louisiana Economic Council (SLEC)
Located in Lafourche Parish in south central Louisiana, SLEC is an economic development organization that provides business development assistance across Assumption, Lafourche, St. Mary, and Terrebonne parishes.

Email: linda.tabor@nicholls.edu
Contact: Mohanad Mohammed
Phone: (985) 448-4485

Terrebonne Economic Development Authority (TEDA)
Terrebonne Economic Development Authority, TEDA, is an economic development organization that has dedicated resources to assisting local businesses in the oil spill claims process.
Contact: Daphnie Domino
Phone: 985-873-6890
Email: ddomino@tpeda.org

Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training (VIET)
VIET works to develop educational and economic training programs and act as a resource center for minority residents in Louisiana. VIET’s Disaster Technical Assistance (DTAP) mobilized in May 2010 to respond to the BP Oil Spill. The VIET office was the first BP Claims Center in Eastern New Orleans that was set up to respond to the community needs. As the process moved to GCCF, VIET is provide direct service to oil spill claimants by providing a case management system that walks the claimant through the claim processes and introduce them to other supportive services that can benefit the individual. Other programs include: Afterschool Academy and Summer Adventure, Free Tax Preparation Services and Business Technical Assistance Program.
Contact: Cyndi Nguyen
Phone: (504) 415-4905
Email: vietno@sprint.blackberry.net

Volunteers of America Greater Baton Rouge, Acadiana Region (VOA)
Based out of Lafayette, VOA Acadiana has regularly engaged in disaster relief work within rural parishes in south central and southwest Louisiana.
Contact: Beth Desonier
Phone: 337-261-4025
Fax: 337-261-4026
Email: bdesonier@voa-acadiana.org

Louisiana Small Business Development Center, New Orleans Region (LSBDC GNO) –
Louisiana Small Business Development Center, Nicholls State University (LSBDC NSU) -
Louisiana Business and Technical Center – based in Baton Rouge, LBTC assists businesses and entrepreneurs in south Louisiana via programs such as mobile classroom, rural entrepreneurship, business counseling and disaster counseling.

Another important area of assistance that service providers should consider is guidance through the post-submission process. GCCF details a complex process for evaluating claims and determining compensation amounts that includes the opportunity for claimants to challenge awarded amounts, which is the advantage of individual and small business claimants provided they are have the expertise and resources to effectively appeal inadequate awards.

Equally challenging is assistance to those workers and businesses with indirect economic damages. Such claims are evaluated based on geographic proximity to the Spill, the degree of dependence on injured natural resources, and the nature of your business. As offered by another local service provider, “businesses not on the water or directly touched by oil have it even harder at this point in gathering needed documentation properly completing complex forms.” These claims will be calculated on a case-by-case basis.

Gulf Coast Claims Facilities
The claims process has been taken over by Ken Feinberg. Going forward, you must complete a new claim form, but if you have already submitted documentation, you do not need to re-submit. Please have your BP Claims, claim id # ready when completing the form.
Call: 800-440-0858 (24hrs / 7 days a week)
Locations: All Claims Centers are open from 8:00am – 7:00pm

(S) Spanish services available, (V) Vietnamese services available, (K) Khmer services available

Louisiana: Alabama: Mississippi: Florida:
Gretna/Belle Chasse (S), (V)
2766 Belle Chasse Hwy.
Belle Chasse, LANew Orleans East (V)
4375 Michoud Blvd.
New Orleans, LA

Point a la Hache (S)
1553 Highway 15
Point a la Hache, LA

Venice (S), (V), (K)
41093 LA-23
P.O. Box 369
Boothville, LA

Lafitte (S)
2654 Jean Lafitte Blvd.
Lafitte, LA

St. Bernard
1345 Old Bayou
Chalmette, LA

Grand Isle
3811 LA 1
Grand Isle, LA

Houma
814 Grand Caillou Rd.
Suite 2&3
Houma, LA

Cut Off (S)
16263 E. Main St.
(Unit 2)
Cut Off, LA

Slidell
1300 Gause Blvd.
Suites A5 and A6
Slidell, LA

Morgan City
899 US-90
Morgan City, LA

New Iberia (S)
956 S. Lewis St.
New Iberia, LA

Chauvin
5706 Highway 56
Chavin, LA

Bayou LaBatre (S), (V)
N. Wintzell Ave.
Bayou La Batre, AL

Dauphin Island
1008 Alabama Ave.
Dauphin Island, AL

Foley
1506 North McKenzie Street
(HWY 59), Suite 104
Foley, AL

Gulf Shores
1709 Gulf Shores Parkway
Gulf Shores, AL

Mobile (S), (V)
325 East I-65 Service Rd. (Beltline Hwy)
Suite 1
Mobile, AL

Orange Beach
24039 Perdido Beach Blvd.
Suite 1
Orange Beach, AL

Biloxi (S), (V)
920 Cedar Lake Rd.
Suite K
Biloxi, MS

Pascagoula (V)
5912 Old Mobile Hwy.
Ste. 3
Pascagoula, MS

Bay St. Louis (V)
1171 Hwy 90
Bay St. Louis, MS

Pensacola
3960 Navy Blvd.
Suite 16-17
Pensacola, FL

Key Largo
100360 Overseas Hwy
Suite 1
Key Largo, FL

Key West
3722 N. Roosevelt Blvd.
Suite H
Key West, FL

Marathon
7885 Overseas Hwy.
Marathon, FL

Gulf Breeze (S)
5668 Gulf Breeze Pkwy.
Unit B-9
Gulf Breeze, FL

Ft. Walton Beach
348 SW Miracle Strip Pkwy.
Suite 13
Fort Walton Beach, FL

Crawfordville
3010 Crawfordville Hwy.
Suite A&B
Crawfordville, FL

Clearwater (S)
2551 Drew St.
Suite 301
Clearwater, FL

Apalachicola
194 14th Street
Suite 105
Apalachicola, FL

Port St. Joe
106 Trade Circle
Suite A
Port St. Joe, FL

Panama City
7938 Front Beach Rd.
Panama City, FL

Santa Rosa Beach
5008 US Hwy 98W
Unit 6&7
Santa Rosa Beach, FL