header navigation search by keyword search results footer navigation can you get the information on this page easily with assistive technology ? email webmaster at my florida c f o dot com and let us know
Jeff Atwater

As Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, I am committed to ensuring that every citizen and every business negatively affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are made whole. While the stories have dropped from the headlines, I am well aware that real struggles continue, and I am determined to ensure every legitimate claim gets paid and every community is restored.

Even for those of you who have accepted final payment from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), I know that does not mean your challenges are over. Many Floridians are facing economic challenges today, that's why I launched Your Money Matter$, a financial education initiative that aims to teach Floridians of all ages how to make the most out of their money, and for small businesses how to strengthen and grow their enterprises.

My Department has been involved from the beginning and understands that oil spill victims are not asking for a handout, only what they are due. When that happens, only then can we declare an end to the oil spill.

Press Releases

January 10, 2012 – Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater’s Letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder inquiring as to when the U.S. Department of Justice plans to commence its audit of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF).

January 20, 2011 – Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater’s Letter to BP Claims Administrator Kenneth Feinberg on formally requesting that a representative of the Florida Department of Financial Services participate in the methodology created to determine claims payments.

May 13, 2010 – Summary of the Federal Administration's Proposed Oil Spill Legislation.

In the News

Fraud pollutes BP oil-spill compensation fund for Gulf Coast victims from Florida to Louisiana - Miami Herald 8-19-12

Florida counties plan for BP oil spill fines - CBS News 8-17-12

Deepwater Horizon Court-Supervised Settlement Program

Event Notice: BP Claims Forum with BP Claims Administrator, Patrick Juneau

When: Tuesday, October 9th at 10:00 am

Where: Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio

1000 College Blvd., Pensacola, FL 32504

Mr. Juneau is the federal court appointed administrator for the class action agreement between BP and the Plaintiffs Steering Committee, which replaced the former GCCF process. For any additional information please call: Kevin Brown (850) 916-5436.

ALERT: Beware of Misleading Offers of Assistance

As often happens following a disaster, opportunists seeking to take advantage of a situation begin to appear. This may be happening in the Panhandle of Florida as people offering help in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill – or related problems – have appeared.

A woman who appeared to be offering legal advice set up shop in Panacea last week claiming in a town hall-style forum that chemicals sprayed following the oil spill are making the residents sick and that it isn't safe for them to work on the water or sell their seafood. Claiming to represent a Texas law firm, she intimated that she was there to help people get paid and prevent further sickness. The woman’s actions and offers are being investigated.

Floridians are urged to thoroughly review and consider such offers of assistance in accessing remuneration. The official claims process is outlined below and any updates to the process will be on this website as well.

The Court Supervised Settlement Program began at 7:00 a.m. CST/8:00 a.m. EST on June 4, 2012.

To view the Position of the Claims Administrator on Process Issues dated May 22, 2012, Click Here.

The settlement is not yet final and is ultimately subject to the final approval of the Court.

If you have economic loss or property damage because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, you could get money from a class action settlement with BP Exploration & Production Inc. and BP America Production Company (“BP”). Go to www.deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com for more information, including information on how to file a claim.

Who is Included in the Economic & Property Damages Settlement?

The Economic and Property Damages (“E&PD”) Settlement Class includes people, businesses, and other entities, in the states of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, and certain counties in Texas and Florida, that were harmed by the oil spill. The website has detailed descriptions and maps to help you determine whether a geographic location may be included in the E&PD Settlement. Additionally, you can call 1-866-992-6174 or e-mail questions@DeepwaterHorizonEconomicSettlement.com to find out if a geographic location is included. The Detailed Notice has more information on who is included.

What does the Economic & Property Damages Settlement Provide?

The E&PD Settlement makes payments for the following types of claims: (1) Seafood Compensation, (2) Economic Damage, (3) Loss of Subsistence, (4) Vessel Physical Damage, (5) Vessels of Opportunity Charter Payment, (6) Coastal Real Property Damage, (7) Wetlands Real Property Damage, and (8) Real Property Sales Damage. There is no limit on the total dollar amount of the E&PD Settlement; all qualified claims will be paid. The Detailed Notice has more information on E&PD Settlement benefits.

How to Get Benefits from the Economic & Property Damages Settlement

You need to submit a Claim Form to request a payment. You can get a copy of the various Claim Forms by visiting the website or by calling 1-866-992-6174. Claims can be submitted online or by mail. If you have questions about how to file your claim, you should call the toll-free number for assistance.

The deadline to submit most E&PD claims will be April 22, 2014 or six months after the E&PD Settlement becomes effective (that is, after the Court grants “final approval” and any appeals are resolved), whichever is later. There will be an earlier deadline to submit E&PD Seafood Compensation claims. The earlier deadline to submit Seafood Compensation claims will be 30 days after final approval of the Settlement by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (regardless of appeals). Actual claim filing deadlines will be posted on the website as they become available. Valid claims will be paid as they are approved, beginning shortly after the Court-Supervised Settlement Program commences. It is highly recommended that E&PD Settlement Class Members complete and submit their Claim Forms promptly. Please read the Medical Benefits Settlement Notice because you may also be eligible for benefits from that settlement.

Your Other Options

If you do not want to be legally bound by the E&PD Settlement, you must Opt Out or exclude yourself by October 1, 2012 or you won’t be able to sue BP over certain economic and property damages claims. If you stay in the E&PD Settlement, you may object to it by August 31, 2012. The Detailed Notice explains how to exclude yourself or object.

The Court will hold a hearing on November 8, 2012 to consider whether to approve the E&PD Settlement. You or your own lawyer may ask to appear and speak at the hearing at your own cost. The Court will also consider Class Counsel fees, costs, and expenses including an interim payment of $75 million and additional awards equal to 6% of class claims and benefits paid. Class Counsel fees, costs and expenses under the Economic and Property Damages Settlement Agreement and the Medical Benefits Settlement Agreement jointly cannot exceed $600 million. Class members’ payments will not be reduced if the Court approves the payment of Class Counsel fees, costs, and expenses because BP will separately pay these attorney fees, costs, and expenses.

By Telephone: Toll-free: (866) 992-6174. For TTY assistance, please call: (888) 584-7624. The Deepwater Horizon Settlement toll-free help line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and live operators will be available from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (Eastern Time), and 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday (Eastern Time).

This notice does not provide any information related to the separate Medical Benefits Settlement also reached related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. For more information about the Medical Benefits Settlement, and to determine whether your rights are affected by that settlement, or whether you are eligible for benefits under that settlement, visit www.deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com or call 1-866-992-6174.

SOURCE: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana