BP Settlement Claims

Deepwater Horizon Settlement Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions prepared by the Deepwater Horizon Settlement.

*These Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQs) were prepared by the Parties and the Claims Administrator to assist claimants who might submit claims to the Court Supervised Settlement Program. The information contained in these FAQs is based on the Amended Settlement Agreement, which was granted Preliminary Approval on May 2, 2012. However, these FAQs are not a substitute for and do not constitute the official Class Notice, and they are not approved by the Court. Any term or information in these FAQs that is found in the Amended Settlement Agreement will have the meaning set forth in the Settlement Agreement. If there is any conflict between these FAQs and the Amended Settlement Agreement, the Amended Settlement Agreement controls.

1. What is the Economic and Property Damages Settlement?

This Settlement resolves certain economic loss and property damage claims related to the Deepwater Horizon Incident, including claims for:

Seafood Compensation
Business Economic Loss
Individual Economic Loss
Loss of Subsistence
Vessel Physical Damage
VoO Charter Payment
Coastal Real Property Damage
Wetlands Real Property Damage
Real Property Sales Loss

As part of the Settlement, a Court-Supervised Settlement Program has been established to review and pay qualified claims made by individuals and businesses that are members of the Economic Class and affected by the Deepwater Horizon Incident.

2. Why is there a Settlement?

In August 2010, all of the lawsuits against BP and the other defendants concerning the Deepwater Horizon Incident were consolidated before one Court, in litigation called In re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010 (MDL 2179). Enormous amounts of time and effort were spent by all parties as the litigation moved towards trial, which was set to begin on February 27, 2012.

At the same time as they prepared for trial, the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee and BP also began settlement negotiations, because both sides recognized that a trial would be costly and risky. After over a year of continuous negotiations, the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee and BP reached agreement on the Economic and Property Damages Settlement.

Both the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee and BP think the Settlement Agreement is fair and in the best interests of the Plaintiffs, all those in the Economic and Property Damages Class, and BP.

3. How much is the Settlement for?

There is no limit on the total dollar amount of the Settlement, but BP will pay no more than $2.3 billion to compensate qualified claimants who are in the Seafood Compensation Program.

While BP has estimated that the total costs of the Settlement will be approximately $7.8 billion, there is no limit on the total amount of the Settlement (with the exception of the Seafood Compensation Program). The actual total amount paid out will depend on the number of qualified claims made, and could be higher or lower than BP's estimate.

4. What happened to the $20 billion BP set aside in August 2010 to pay for damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon Incident?

The funds remaining in the $20 billion Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust that BP set up after the Deepwater Horizon Incident will be used to pay qualified claims made under this Settlement. However, the total Settlement amount is not limited to the remaining funds in the Trust. With the exception of claims in the Seafood Compensation Program, BP is required to fully fund the Settlement no matter the ultimate cost - even if the cost exceeds the funds remaining in the Trust.

5. What is the current status of the Settlement?

On May 2, 2012, the Court granted preliminary approval of the Economic Class and the Settlement, and ordered that the Court-Supervised Settlement Program should begin accepting claims on June 4, 2012. The Court will consider final approval of the Settlement at a Fairness Hearing scheduled for November 8, 2012.

6. What happens at the Fairness Hearing?

At the Fairness Hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If the Court decides to grant final approval, the Court will issue a Final Order and Judgment, which will bind BP to the terms of the Settlement for all eligible Class Members, dismiss the claims against BP that are resolved by the Settlement and release BP from liability for the claims resolved by the Settlement.

7. What is a class action settlement?

Generally, in a class action, a court appoints representative plaintiffs (called "class representatives") to represent a group (or "class") of others who have claims similar to the class representatives' claims. Then that court resolves the issues for the class representatives and all the class members, except for those who choose to exclude themselves from the class.

The Economic and Property Damages Settlement is a class action settlement. Here, the class representatives are the individuals and businesses named as plaintiffs in the Class Action Complaint. These "Economic Class Representatives" represent a larger group of individuals and businesses with similar claims (the "Economic Class"). Those who meet the class definition are called the Economic Class Members.

8. Are any Claims Excluded from the Settlement Agreement?

Yes. There are certain claims that are not recognized or released under the Settlement Agreement. They are considered "Expressly Reserved" to the Economic Class Members. These Expressly Reserved Claims are:

Bodily Injury Claims
Claims by BP shareholders in any derivative action or direct action solely in their capacity as a BP shareholder
Moratoria Loss Claims
Claims relating to menhaden (or "pogy") fishing, processing, selling, catching, or harvesting
Claims for economic damage suffered by entities or employees (to the extent they allege economic damage based on their employment by such entity during the class period) in the Banking, Gaming, Financial, Insurance, Oil and Gas, Real Estate Development, Defense Contractor Industries, and entities selling or marketing BP-branded fuel (including jobbers and branded dealers)
Claims of the Economic Class for punitive damages against Halliburton and Transocean
Assigned Claims of the Economic Class
You may still pursue these claims and remain an Economic Class Member without Opting Out.

Assigned Claims will be pursued by the Economic Class on your behalf, but you cannot pursue them individually.

Some bodily injury claims may be made under the Medical Benefits Class Action Settlement.

9. What if I am an Individual/Employee who works in Support Services to Oil and Gas Industry? Can I make any Claims in the Settlement Program?

You can submit a claim for Economic Damage incurred as a result of your employment in a Support Services to Oil and Gas Industry for non-moratoria business interruption and non oil and gas industry economic losses due to the Deepwater Horizon Incident. You can also submit claims for other losses unrelated to your employment in the support service, if those claims are not otherwise excluded. For example, you can submit a claim for economic losses from another job that is not in the support service. However, you cannot make an economic loss claim for Moratoria Losses because that is an excluded claim.

In addition to the permitted economic loss claims, you can also pursue any other types of claims you have that are included in the Settlement.

10. What if I am a Business/Employer in the Oil and Gas Industry?

You are excluded from the Economic Class, so you cannot make any claims under the Settlement. However, you can still pursue any claims you may have against BP outside of the Settlement, either through BP’s OPA claims process, or in your own lawsuit against BP. For more information BP’s OPA claims process, visit www.bp.com/claims or call 1-855-687-2631.

11. What if I am a Business/Employer in Support Services to Oil and Gas Industry?

You may submit Economic Damage claims for non-moratoria business interruption and non oil and gas industry economic losses due to the Deepwater Horizon Incident. In addition to those permitted Economic Damage Claims, you may also make any other types of claims you may have under the Settlement.

12. Can I make a claim in this Settlement for bodily or physical injury?

No but some claims for bodily or physical injury can be made under the separately negotiated Medical Benefits Class Action Settlement. Click here to visit the Medical Benefits Settlement website.

13. Can I make a claim for commercial menhaden (or "pogy") fishing, processing, catching or harvesting?

No. Those claims are expressly reserved.

14. Can I make a claim based on losses incurred as a result of the government's shutdown of drilling activities after the Deepwater Horizon Incident?

No. Moratoria Losses, which are any losses caused by federal regulatory action or inaction regarding offshore oil industry activity that occurred after May 28, 2010, including the federal moratoria on offshore permitting and drilling activities imposed on May 28, 2010 and July 12, 2010 and new or revised safety rules, regulations, inspections and permitting activities, are excluded.

However, business losses to Oil & Gas Service and Supply businesses and their employees arising from non-moratoria disruptions in drilling and other activities in the Gulf can be claimed under the Settlement, while still pursuing the excluded claims for Moratoria Losses outside of the Settlement Program. An eligible business or employee does not need to Opt Out of the Settlement in order to preserve or pursue Moratoria Losses.

15. If I qualify as an Economic Class Member, am I required to participate in the Settlement?

No. If you do not want to participate in this Settlement you have the right to Opt Out (i.e., exclude yourself from the Economic Class). The Economic Class Action Settlement Notice provides instructions regarding the procedures that must be followed to Opt Out of the Economic Class.

To validly exclude yourself from the Economic Class, you must submit a written request stating "I wish to be excluded from the Economic Class." The request must include your printed name, address and phone number and must be postmarked no later than October 1, 2012. The written request must be signed by the Natural Person or Entity seeking to exclude himself, herself or itself from the Economic Class, even if they are represented by an attorney. Electronic signatures will not be accepted. The request should be mailed to:

Deepwater Horizon Court-Supervised Settlement Program
Exclusions Department
P.O. Box 222
Hammond, LA 70404-0222

16. If I do not qualify as an Economic Class Member, am I required to Opt Out of the Settlement?

No.

17. If I have more than one claim for damages, can I Opt Out for some, but not all of those claims?

No. An Economic Class Member cannot Opt Out of the Economic Class for some claims and seek settlement benefits for others. If you exercise your right to Opt Out, you Opt Out for all Claims you may have under the Settlement.

For example, an Economic Class Member who has a Claim for Coastal Real Property Damage and a Claim for Economic Damage and Opts Out of the Economic Class will not have the right to submit either Claim to the Settlement Program.

An Economic Class Member does not have to Opt Out in order to preserve and pursue an Expressly Reserved Claim.

18. What happens if I don't file a Claim and I do not Opt Out of the Economic Class?

If you are an Economic Class Member and do nothing, you will not get a payment from this settlement. And, unless you Opt Out, you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against BP or the Released Parties about the claims being released by the Economic & Property Damages Settlement.

However, even if you take no action, you will keep your right to sue BP or any of the Released Parties for claims not resolved by the Settlement. Also see FAQ 13 for more information on these Expressly Reserved Claims.

19. What if I do not like the terms of the Settlement?

Only an Economic Class Member can object to the Settlement. If you are an Economic Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you do not like all or some part of it. To object, send a letter explaining your objection to the proposed Economic & Property Damages Settlement in In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, MDL No. 2179. Your objection letter must include:

A detailed statement of each objection being made, including the specific reasons for each objection, and any evidence or legal authority to support each objection;
Your name, address, and telephone number;
Written evidence establishing that you are an Economic Class Member, such as proof of residency, proof of ownership of property, proof of employment, and/or proof of business incorporation and operation; and
Any supporting papers, materials, or briefs that you want the Court to consider when reviewing the objection.
If you are an Economic Class Member, you may also object through an attorney hired at your own expense. Your attorney will have to file a notice of appearance with the Court by August 31, 2012, and serve a copy of the notice and the objection containing the information detailed above on Economic Class Counsel and BP's Counsel by August 31, 2012.

20. What is the Seafood Compensation Program?

The Seafood Compensation Program covers damages suffered by Commercial Fishermen, Seafood Crew, or Seafood Vessel Owners that owned, operated, leased, or worked on a vessel that was Home Ported in the Gulf Coast Areas at any time from April 20, 2010 to April 16, 2012, or Landed Seafood in the Gulf Coast Areas at any time from April 20, 2009 to April 16, 2012. In addition, it covers damages suffered by Oyster Leaseholders and Individual Fishing Quota ("IFQ") Owners. The Seafood Compensation Program does not apply to claims relating to fishing, processing, selling, catching, or harvesting of menhaden (or "pogy") fish.

21. What is an Economic Damage Claim?

Economic Damage is a loss of profits, income, or earnings suffered by Natural Persons or Entities as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Incident. Economic Damage does not include loss of profits or earnings or damages for injury that are related to the other types of damages.

22. What is a Subsistence Damage Claim?

Subsistence Damage is a loss of Subsistence use of natural resources arising from the Deepwater Horizon Incident. This includes damages suffered by Natural Persons who fish or hunt to harvest, catch, barter, consume, or trade Gulf of Mexico natural resources (including Seafood and Game) in a traditional or customary manner, to sustain their basic personal or family dietary, economic security, shelter, tool, or clothing needs and who relied on Subsistence resources that were diminished or restricted due to the Deepwater Horizon Incident.

23. What is a VoO Charter Payment Claim?

This claim category addresses damages suffered by Natural Persons or Entities who registered their vessels to participate in BP's Vessels of Opportunity ("VoO") program, executed a VoO Master Vessel Charter Agreement with BP, Lawson, USMS, USES, DRC, or any other BP subcontractor as Charterer, and completed the initial VoO training program. VoO participants can make VoO Charter Payment Claims regardless of whether they were dispatched or otherwise asked to perform work under the program.

24. What is a Vessel Physical Damage Claim?

A Vessel Physical Damage Claim is a claim for physical damage to a vessel resulting from the Deepwater Horizon Incident or certain response clean-up operations, including the cost of removal of equipment or rigging added to the vessel as part of the response activities.

25. What is a Coastal Real Property Damage Claim?

Individuals and Entities who owned or leased coastal real property or boat slips located in the Coastal Real Property Claim Zone at any time from April 20, 2010 to December 31, 2010 can make Coastal Real Property Damage Claims for damage to that property.

In addition, owners of real or personal property located in the Coastal Real Property Claim Zone that was physically damaged in connection with the Deepwater Horizon Incident response clean-up operations can make claims for that physical damage to real or personal property.

To see if your property is within the Coastal Real Property Claim Zone, click here to view the Coastal Real Property Claim Zone Map. By itself, inclusion in the Coastal Real Property Claim Zone does not mean that you are eligible for benefits.

26. What is Real Property Sales Damage?

Real Property Sales Damage is economic loss suffered by sellers of residential property located in a specific geographic area, who sold their properties at a lower price because of the Deepwater Horizon Incident. In order to be eligible to file a Real Property Sales Damage claim, the claimant must have owned the property on April 20, 2010, and the sale of the property must have closed between April 21, 2010 and December 31, 2010. If the sales contract was executed prior to April 21, 2010, the property sales price must have been reduced because of the Deepwater Horizon Incident. Real Property Sales do not include transfers from borrowers to lenders as part of a foreclosure or a similar process.

To see if your property is within the Real Property Compensation Zone, click here to view the Real Property Compensation Zone Map. By itself, inclusion in the Real Property Compensation Zone does not mean that you are eligible for benefits.

27. What is Wetlands Real Property Damage?

Individuals and Entities who owned wetlands real property located in certain geographic areas at any time between April 20, 2010 and April 16, 2012, can make claims for Wetlands Real Property Damage. If you have property located in the Wetlands Real Property Compensation Zone, you could receive a Settlement Payment depending on whether the property is considered oiled or non-oiled and what the acreage is.

In addition, owners of real or personal property located in the Wetlands Real Property Compensation Zone that was physically damaged in connection with the Deepwater Horizon Incident response clean-up operations can make claims for that physical damage to real or personal property.

To see if your property is within the Wetlands Real Property Compensation Zone, click here to view the Wetlands Real Property Compensation Zone Map. By itself, inclusion in the Wetlands Real Property Compensation Zone does not mean that you are eligible for benefits.

You must file a Wetlands Real Property Damage Claim Form in order to receive benefits under this category.

28. What is the process for evaluating Claims that are submitted for payment under the Settlement Agreement?

The Settlement Agreement established the new Deepwater Horizon Court-Supervised Settlement Program (“Settlement Program”), which replaces the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (“GCCF”) and the Transition Process that operated under Court supervision in the interim between the closing of the GCCF and the opening of the Settlement Program. The Court has appointed a number of Claims Administration Vendors that are responsible for reviewing claims submitted to the new Settlement Program pursuant to the Claims Processes described in the Settlement Agreement, to determine whether the claims are eligible for payment, and if so, calculate the amount of the Settlement Payment.

29. Are the rules for processing and paying claims in the Settlement Program different than they were in the GCCF and the Transition Process?

Yes. The Parties negotiated an entirely new set of rules, protocols, eligibility requirements, and calculation methods to be used in the Settlement Program, all of which are set forth in the Settlement Agreement.

30. What will happen to the documents and information that I sent to the GCCF or the Transition Process?

The Court has issued an order requiring that all claims-related information, files, and data previously submitted to the GCCF or the Transition Process be transferred to the Settlement Program. This means that if you already submitted a piece of Supporting Documentation to the GCCF or the Transition Process, you will not need to re-submit that piece of Supporting Documentation to the Settlement Program. However, you still may want or need to submit additional Supporting Documentation if the Settlement Agreement requires or allows different documentation than the GCCF required to support your claim.

Note that, no matter what, you must file a claim with the Settlement Program to request payment under the Settlement. The Settlement Program will not begin to review any claimant’s file transferred from the GCCF or the Transition Process unless and until that claimant files a claim with the Settlement Program. Thus, even if you have a pending or unresolved claim with the GCCF or the Transition Process when the Settlement Program opens, you still must file a claim with the Settlement Program in order for review of your claim to be completed by the Settlement Program.

31. I was paid by the GCCF. Can I participate in this Settlement Program too?

If the payment you received from the GCCF was an “emergency advance payment” or an “interim payment” (i.e. you did not sign a Final Release and Covenant Not to Sue), and you are an Economic Class Member, you can participate in the Settlement Program. If you received a “Final Payment” or a “Quick Pay” payment and you signed a Release and Covenant Not to Sue, you can only file a Vessels of Opportunity (“VoO”) Charter Payment claim or a Vessel Physical Damage claim in the Settlement Program. However, if you were paid by the GCCF and signed a Release and Covenant Not to Sue that was limited to bodily injury claims only, and you are an Economic Class Member, you can participate fully in the Settlement Program.

If you qualify for a payment under the Settlement Program, the amount of your prior GCCF payments may be deducted from your Settlement Payment. [SA 4.2.6, 2.2.6]

32. I previously filed a claim with the GCCF, which was denied or rejected. May I participate in the Settlement?

Yes, if you are an Economic Class Member. Moreover, the fact that the GCCF denied or rejected your claim cannot be held against you during the Settlement Program’s evaluation of you claim.

33. I have an offer from the GCCF that has expired. Can I participate in the Settlement?

Yes, if you are an Economic Class Member. To participate, you must file a claim with the Settlement Program. Click here to jump to FAQs about how to file a claim.

34. I thought I still had a claim pending with the GCCF. Where is my claim now?

The GCCF has closed. If you had a claim pending with the GCCF, it was transferred to the Transition Process on March 8, 2012, and then transferred to the Settlement Program on June 4, 2012.

You may now file a claim with the Settlement Program. All of your claims-related information, files, and data that you previously submitted to the GCCF or the Transition Process have been transferred to the Settlement Program, but the Settlement Program will not begin to review your file unless and until you file a claim with the Settlement Program. Click here to jump to FAQs about how to file a claim.

35. I had a pending offer from the GCCF when the Transition Process opened and I accepted the 60% payment that the Transition Process offered. What do I need to do now?

You may now file a claim with the Settlement Program. All of your claims-related information, files, and data that you previously submitted to the GCCF or the Transition Process have been transferred to the Settlement Program, but the Settlement Program will not begin to review your file unless and until you file a claim with the Settlement Program. Click here to jump to FAQs about how to file a claim.

Once the Settlement Program has reviewed your claim, you will receive your Settlement Payment or the remaining 40% of your GCCF offer, whichever is larger, in exchange for executing a release.

If you do not wish to file a claim in the Settlement Program, you may choose to receive the remaining 40% of your GCCF offer in exchange for executing a release. If you Opt Out of the Settlement, or if you are not an Economic Class Member, you can choose to receive the remaining 40% of your GCCF offer in exchange for executing a release, or you can forego the remaining 40% and pursue any rights available to you outside of the Settlement.

36. I had a pending claim with the GCCF and it was transferred to the Transition Process, but I have not received an offer yet. What happened to my claim?

The GCCF and the Transition Process have closed. If you had a claim pending with the GCCF, it was transferred to the Transition Process on March 8, 2012, and then transferred to the Settlement Program on June 4, 2012.

You may now file a claim with the Settlement Program. All of your claims-related information, files, and data that you previously submitted to the GCCF or the Transition Process have been transferred to the Settlement Program, but the Settlement Program will not begin to review your file unless and until you file a claim with the Settlement Program. Click here to jump to FAQs about how to file a claim.

37. Who determines whether I will receive a Settlement Payment?

Once you file a claim, the Settlement Program, through the processing of claims by the Claims Administration Vendors, will determine whether you qualify for a Settlement Payment using the Claims Processes set forth in the Settlement Agreement. If you qualify, the Settlement Program, through the Claims Administration Vendors, will issue your Settlement Payment(s).

38. How does the Settlement Program determine whether I qualify for a Settlement Payment?

The Settlement Program will process your claim in accordance with the Claim Processes that were approved by the Court in this case. There are separate Claim Processes and Claim Forms for each Damage Category in the Settlement. One of the Damage Categories, Economic Damage, is further divided into five subcategories.

39. Can I file more than one claim in the Settlement Program?

Yes, but you must file all your claims within six (6) months of the date of the first Settlement Payment you receive, unless you are filing a claim in the Seafood Compensation Program. If you are filing an additional claim in the Seafood Compensation Program, that claim must be filed within 30 days of the Court’s Final Order and Judgment, which will not occur before the Fairness Hearing on November 8, 2012. Check here often for updates on these important dates. In any event, you must file all of your claims before the close of the Settlement Program, which will be April 22, 2014, or six months after the Effective Date, whichever is later.

40. If I file a claim, am I guaranteed payment?

No. Your claim will be evaluated under the eligibility and compensation framework applicable to your type of claim, and if your claim is deemed eligible, you will receive a Settlement Payment.

However, if you are an Economic Class Member and you had a pending offer from the GCCF or filed a claim with the Transition Process and accepted a 60% payment, after filing your claim in the Settlement Program, you will receive either your Settlement Payment or the remaining 40% of your prior offer, whichever is larger.

41. How soon after I file my claim will I get my payment?

There is no specific timeframe for how soon after submission a claim will be evaluated and, if eligible, paid. The time period will depend on the type of claim, the complexity of the evaluation, and the volume of other claims submitted at same time as your claim. That said, the Settlement Program is a claimant-friendly process with the goal of reviewing and paying eligible claims as quickly as possible after they are received.

42. I am represented by a lawyer and I want to file a claim. What should I do?

You should consult with your lawyer, and have your lawyer file a claim on your behalf.

43. Can I authorize another individual to communicate with the Settlement Program about my claim?

Yes, you can designate a lawyer, to act and communicate on your behalf with the Settlement Program. You can also authorize your accountant or other claim preparer to respond to any questions the Settlement Program may have about your claim.

44. During the GCCF process, my law firm submitted a GCCF Authorization Form. Is this form acceptable for the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages Settlement Program?

No. The GCCF Authorization Form limited the authorization to act on behalf of a claimant in the GCCF process and did not authorize activity beyond handling a claim with the GCCF. The Claims Administrator and the Economic and Property Damages Settlement Program are different from and separate from the GCCF. To show authority to act for the claimant in the Economic and Property Damages Settlement Program, the lawyer or law firm must submit a power of attorney, retainer agreement, or document signed by the claimant that authorizes the lawyer or the law firm to pursue on the client’s behalf any claim(s) arising out of the Deepwater Horizon Incident, or words to that effect.

45. During the GCCF process, my law firm submitted a document other than the GCCF Authorization Form that authorized me and/or my firm to act on my client’s behalf concerning his or her claim(s). Is that prior document acceptable for the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damage Settlement Program?

It may be. To show authority to act for the claimant in the Economic and Property Damages Settlement Program, the lawyer or law firm must submit a power of attorney, retainer agreement, or document signed by the claimant that authorizes the lawyer or the law firm to pursue on the client’s behalf any claim(s) arising out of the Deepwater Horizon Incident, or words to that effect.

We will review your document. If it contains that authorization, the Claims Administrator will accept it as sufficient. If it does not, we will notify you and the claimant will need to sign a new document containing such authorization that you then submit to us.

46. What documents do I have to submit with my Individual Economic Loss claim?

Generally, Individual Economic Loss Claimants need to file a sworn Claim Form as well as other documentation reflecting and supporting their Economic Damage claims.

Under the Settlement Agreement, there are four categories of Individual Economic Loss Claimants depending on the type of documentation the Claimant is able to provide. There is also an addendum to the Framework for Individual Economic Loss Claims for Individual Periodic Vendors (“IPVs”) and Festival Vendors. Categories differ based on the documentation available to each claimant.

Category I: Individuals with income Tax Returns and other Tax Information Documents for both 2010 and a Benchmark Period;
Category II: Individuals who do not have Tax Returns or other Tax Information Documents, but who do have other documents presenting employment and compensation information for 2010 and a Benchmark Period (e.g. paycheck stubs, bank records, etc.);
Category III: Individuals who have Tax Information Documents for 2010, but do not have documentation of a comparable Benchmark Period in prior years (e.g. a New Entrant to Employment, a Claimant Who Had Less Than Twelve Months of Earnings History But Was Employed on April 20, 2010, or a Career Changer); or
Category IV: Individuals who do not have Tax Information Documents or Pay Period Earnings Documentation who submit Sworn Written Statements from both the Claimant and the employer presenting employment and compensation information for 2010.
IPVs and Festival vendors: Individuals who make certain Covered Sales at non-permanent business locations (IPVs) or certain defined Festivals, and who do not have Tax Information Documents.
The specific documentation required for each category is detailed and explained in the Individual Economic Loss Claim Form and the accompanying Instructions for Completing the Individual Economic Loss Claim Form.

47. What is the Seafood Compensation Program?

The Seafood Compensation Program compensates eligible Commercial Fishermen, Seafood Boat Captains, all other Seafood Crew, Oyster Leaseholders, and Seafood Vessel Owners for economic loss claims relating to Seafood.

48. How is the Seafood Compensation Program structured?

There are a variety of Compensation Plans that comprise the Seafood Compensation Program based on different types of Seafood. The eligibility requirements, documentation requirements and compensation methods differ for each Compensation Plan. The Compensation Plans and claims that can be brought under each Plan are:

Shrimp Compensation Plan: Vessel Owner/Commercial Fisherman Vessel Lessees claims and Boat Captain claims
Oyster Compensation Plan: Leaseholder Interest claims, Leaseholder Lost Income claims, Vessel Owner/Oyster Harvester Vessel Lessee claims, Boat Captain claims
Finfish Compensation Plan: Vessel Owner/Commercial Fisherman Vessel Lessee claims, Boat Captain claims, Individual Fishing Quota holder claims
Blue Crab/Other Seafood Compensation Plan: Vessel Owner/Commercial Fisherman claims, Vessel Lessee claims (including crab trap damages), Boat Captain claims
Seafood Crew Compensation Plan (excluding Boat captains): claims with standard documentation, claims with documentation supplied by employer, and claims brought with documentation supplied by non-employers. [Ex. 10, Overview]
142. How might the number of Opt Outs affect the $2.3 billion Seafood Compensation Program Amount paid to eligible Class Members participating in the Seafood Compensation Program?

The total $2.3 billion Seafood Compensation Program Amount will be unaffected by Opt Outs up to: (1) 15% of all potential claimants with claims under Category III of the Seafood Crew Compensation Plan, and/or (2) 17.5% of all potential claimants with claims under the Shrimp Compensation Plan, Oyster Compensation Plan, Finfish Compensation Plan, Blue Crab/Other Seafood Compensation Plan and Categories I and II of the Seafood Crew Compensation Plan. In the event that these percentages are exceeded, BP will get a credit for what the additional Opt Outs would have received under the Seafood Compensation Program, as determined by the Court-appointed neutral.

49. Who may file a VoO Charter Payment claim?

Economic Class Members may file a Claim for a VoO Charter Payment if they registered to participate in BP’s Vessels of Opportunity (“VoO”) program, executed a VoO Master Vessel Charter Agreement which names BP, Lawson, USMS, USES, DRC or any other BP contractor or subcontractor as Charterer, and completed the initial VoO training program.

VoO Charter Payment Claimants fall into one of two categories:

Working VoO Participant - executed a VoO Master Vessel Charter Agreement, completed the initial VoO training program and was dispatched or placed on hire (i.e. requested by a Charterer to perform work and accepted such request), by a Charterer (evidence of which includes Charterer’s dispatch logs).
Non-working VoO Participant - executed a VoO Master Vessel Charter Agreement, and completed the initial VoO training program but was never dispatched, placed on hire or otherwise asked to perform work for a Charterer.

50. As a deckhand, am I eligible to make a VoO Charter Payment claim?

No. Only Claimants that executed a VoO Master Vessel Charter Agreement and completed initial training are eligible.

Brent Coon discussing Oil Spill Settlement

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