When it come to the GCCF, there is none. The Justice Department has called for transparency in how the claims process is being handled. Attorney Generals in the Gulf Coast have called for it. The residents with claims in the pipeline have demanded it. Feinberg has promised it.
But still, there is no transparency.
Instead we have a wall of secrecy erected around the GCCF and allowed to remain by the neutral arbitrator, Feinberg and as a result there is tremendous frustration by thousands of people who never asked for this oil spill, but are all suffering from its toxicity. Instead we have the stories from the ground of what exactly is occurring and these stories are alarming, disappointing and ridiculous, especially when the problems all come from the agency whose sole purpose was to make things right for the businesses and residents of the Gulf Coast.
We get allegations of private investigators hired by the GCCF. We get indiscriminate payments to some and denials to others, often for people on the same boat. We get deficiency letters that start the waiting periods for payments all over again. We get accusations of online forms with errors, posted intentionally as stall tactics by the GCCF. We get rules that change arbitrarily. We get an informational GCCF website that posts information that doesn’t make sense or is wrong.
Consider just a few of the stories being posted to a comments section on the website, ProPublica.
Regarding a visit from the private investigators hired by the GCCF:
“My advice is to get a lawyer fast and have them meet you there. This is a EAP claim and most lawyers will give you advice without charging you for whatever you might get in your EAP payment…Not sure where you are at but this could turn real ugly if you don’t protect yourself now. These guys are not nice. They showed up at a friends and was very very rude. (After 3 hours of attacking her paperwork she finally called the police on them. It was something as simple as the IRS didn’t have her name right. She got married and they haven’t filed this years taxes so they did not know about the legal name change when she got married.. She went through HELL….for hours. Finally they realized the problem then she was approved and then still waited almost 30 more days to get paid.) They are there to not to be on your side but on BP’s side. After all they are the ones paying them. Remember they are recording YOU.. it is on them but they don’t tell you. So whatever you say is being recorded.”
Regarding indiscriminate payments to some and not to others:
“Some people were denied and have NO CLUE why! How about the folks who got denied when their coworkers who got paid the same and filed at the same were approved? how fair is that?”
“All these waiters and waitresses bragging about their money driving around in new cars and they deny the people who really need it!! I was denied and still to this day do not know why…my status states “Reason to be posted soon…” WTF-EVER! I filed for my final we will see what happens! Our leaders are being paid by BP that is why they aren’t doing shit to help anyone!”
Regarding deficiency letters and stall tactics:
“Another turn of events…I just received a call from the GCCF informing me that I would be receiving a deficiency letter in the mail. I freaked out on that poor girl! I said “ANOTHER ONE?” She said that she was just giving me a courtesy call in regards to the letter they mailed us on the 28th and upon further digging… she can see the claim I sent on the 30th and the claim on the 3rd. ?? Seriously? Poor girl… I wouldn’t want her job today…I get so many different answers, but no payment….I have no idea what the heck is going on… apparently they do not either…I just NOW received a courtesy call to inform me that my initial claim form was not valid. WTH?”
“The 90 days Final Claim is from the time they receive the documents. But again if there is one thing missing you will have to re-file and then your 90 days will start all over again. This too is another stall tactic. The stats on the website are not correct. Don’t rely on what you see on the website. Feinberg will stall and delay some final and interim payments then push them out to October he will then again announce another Quick Payout for final claims. He is using stall tactics to push to accept quicker and not fair payouts to the claimants. His advice (from an adjuster) is have an attorney and wait because the rules will change again in the next few months.”
“Does anyone know how to withdraw a claim with the GCCF? There was no way to see what files were uploaded when they were completed uploaded and I uploaded the wrong files. Mostly I just don’t want to deal with the GCCF anymore also.”
This is the result of a broken system and a real lack of transparency.
When some claims are accepted, yet others are denied for no given reason…when claimants are made to feel like criminals and have to hire attorneys to ward off private investigators grilling them on their legitimate claims…when the time tables for needed payments are constantly restarted and nobody can tell them why…when the front office of the GCCF tells a claimant one thing, only to have the home office say another and no reason given for this discrepancy…when the GCCF conducts their business at a snail’s pace while people are running out of money, being forced into foreclosure and bankruptcy…when all this occurs, your system is broken.
Yet Feinberg and the GCCF soldier on unaffected, immune to the kind of charges and complaints that if levied against them in a private business, would get them fired.
The GCCF was created for the purpose of making things right on the Gulf Coast, but little is right…not for thousands of residents still stuck in this mess, not for who knows how many businesses…no, little to nothing is being made right at all for those so frustrated by this claims process, unless of course they should happen to own shares in British Petroleum stock.
Have a nice day.