A new report shows a county by county breakdown of BP claims payouts

By: Amber Southard Email
By: Amber Southard Email

Panama City Beach - When Ken Feinberg took over the Gulf Coast Claims program, he started with $20 billion of BP’s money.

Since then Feinberg has paid out a little more than $2 billion in claims to individuals who were injured by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The Gulf Coast Claims report reflects the money BP has paid out to people seeking emergency reimbursement payments.

The deadline for emergency claims passed last week. According to the report Bay County residents received $174 million. Okaloosa residents claimed $203 million, $102 million in Walton, and $12 million in Gulf and $17 million in Franklin.

The majority of those receiving payments were people working tourism or seafood industry jobs.

University of West Florida Haas Center Director, Dr. Rick Harper, who's been following the oil spill's economic effect, compiled some of his own numbers.

According to Harper, the average bay county employee received around $10 thousand, Gulf workers got around $23 thousand, Franklin’s claimants received about $15 thousand and did Okaloosa County and Walton workers received around $13 thousand.

"It has a lot to do probably with the way that people are filing claims in each county and who their working with and the composition of the tourism industry," said Harper.

Despite the fact the oil spill's only direct impact on Florida was here in the panhandle, some south Florida counties received more money.

Even Jackson and Washington counties, which are not on the gulf, received money, but the amount per worker is significantly less.

"Orange county for example the home of Disney World they're receiving about $5 per job in tourism, Hillsborough also Tampa area $75 dollars per tourism, so Northwest Florida is receiving the bulk of payments given that we are a smaller part of the Florida economy,” said Harper.

Harper is scheduled to meet with Florida senate's appropriations committee next week to discuss his oil spill economic impact study.


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