NAPLES, FL--BP issued a 29 page status update this week saying it believes the recovery in the Gulf is so strong, it doesn't need to continue paying out future claims from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Some families in Southwest Florida are taking offense to that statement because they're still waiting to receive their claim check.
Six months ago, we introduced you to several families struggling to get their claims filled by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. Six months later, they're still waiting for answers.
Tauni Roster and her husband Ron are one of the families still in limbo.
"We're stuck," said Tauni, "It's made my faith in the big boy upstairs stronger. I do a lot of praying."
They pray they'll make ends meet and that someone will give them an answer about their claim. They were in the process of selling their fishing business. They had sold their fishing quotas and had a pending sale on their boat when their oil spill happen.
When the spill closed part of the gulf for fishing, the buyer backed out of the deal. That left the Rosters with a boat they couldn't use so they filed a claim.
"We've never gotten a response except that GCCF said our claim for the loss of the sale of the boats was denied," said Tauni Roster, "We never got anything declaring deficiencies as far as documentation as far as they would need to substantiate the claim to make it be an eligible claim."
The Rosters were told to refile the claim. Each time they did, they h ad to wait another 90 days to get an answer.
"So a year later you're still waiting," Chief Investigator Melissa Yeager asked.
"Yes," said Roster.
Ron Ziemba faced the same waiting game. He filed for the loss of revenue from his transportation business American Comfort Limo in Naples.
"In April we finally got something from them saying we're deficient because we don't have our 2008 monthly financials." said Ziemba, "They have them quarterly. We told them we have 2008 as quarterly and 2009 and 10 we have those monthly. So they made us defiant for the at reason."
According to the GCCF website of the more than 520,000 people who have made claims, only 196,000 have received payment. The fund has paid out 4 billion of the 20 billion set aside.
That frustrates and angers the Rosters.
"It's like are you kidding me," said Tauni Roster, "I thought this was set up to help us but we keep jumping through these hoops. It's a bottomless pit. It's a vortex."
Tauni keep calling and checking on her claim on her own. But Ron Ziemba has done what about 46,000 other claimants have done hired a lawyer.
"We have to move on," said Ziemba.
The GCCF did make an offer to Ziemba's attorney to pay 35% of the claim. However, Ziemba plans to fight for full payment.
To read BP's report detailing the economic and environmental recovery of the region, click here.
To read Senator Nelson's response, click here.
Both Senator Bill Nelson and Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater continue to handle complaints about the fund.