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Claims Deadline Arrives

Courthouse News reports that Tuesday is the deadline for individuals seeking restitution from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Kenneth Feinberg, administrator for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill compensation fund, has been criticized for moving too slowly and not allowing enough transparency into the compensation process.

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who met with Feinberg Friday, said the claim fund is not moving “with appropriate urgency” and people aren’t getting the payments they deserve.

“Businesses along the Gulf Coast are not only trying to survive now but also prepare for the next tourist season, which is quickly approaching,” Shelby said. “These victims deserve a fair opportunity to appeal inadequate payments, particularly in light of the lack of transparency, clarity, and consistency in the payment process.”

Feinberg has paid $2 billion so far to 125,000 claimants.

In a statement to Fox News, Feinberg, whose company is earning $850,000 a month to administer the claims, said he’s responding to the government’s complaints.

“I think it’s always wise to listen carefully to constructive criticism from the Department of Justice,” Feinberg said. “They want me to improve transparency, and I plan to do so.”

Feinberg said he estimates that about $6 billion of the fund will be spent, including government and cleanup claims, allowing BP to reclaim the remainder once all the settlements are paid out by August 2013.

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