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BP spill fund bogged down by multitude of claims

More than a third of the approximately 104,000 claimants need to better substantiate their claims.

The administration of the $20 billion fund set up to compensate victims of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been slowed down by the volume of claims, a part of which is unsubstantiated or inflated.

More than a third of the approximately 104,000 claimants need to substantiate their claims better, and thousands of claims have no documentation at all, said Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of the spill fund.

The fund, known as the Gulf Coast Claims Facility has paid out nearly $1bn to about 50,000 applicants since it was set up in August by BP following pressure from the US government.

According to the Associated Press, the sheer volume of the claims has itself bogged down the process as many livelihoods on the US coast have been destroyed since a BP-operated rig exploded in April, killing 11 workers and spilling more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf for over three months.

The money given out now is considered an emergency aid, and BP plans to offer, in the coming months, a final settlement to victims, which would require that claimants give up the right to sue BP.